@StandardMedia

Kenya's Microsoft-backed Mawingu aims to triple broadband users

5 months ago, 21 Apr 10:33

By: Reuters

: Mawingu Networks, a Microsoft backed Kenyan start-up using underutilised television frequencies, aims to triple rural broadband users in the next two years, its chief executive said.

Only 40 percent of the East African nation’s 45 million people have access to high-speed Internet, through fibre and smart phones, offering firms like Mawingu, which uses so-called TV white spaces technology, and Liquid Telecom to compete on cost with telecom operators such as Safaricom.

Since its establishment in 2013, Mawingu, which means cloud in Swahili, has set up 1,500 Internet hotspots in and around Nanyuki, a market town of 50,000 about two hours drive from Nairobi, linking 600 small businesses and 11,000 active users.

“I would like to be three times this size within 18-24 months and from there I would like to be 50 times this size. I would like to have a nationwide rural connectivity network,” Mawingu CEO Tim Hobbs said in an interview.

Such increases would help Mawingu to grow revenue and to become profitable, he said, without giving a timeframe.

The firm is using a $4 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to expand, he said, adding that Mawingu would raise more funds later this year.

“We are not profitable yet but we are heading that way,” said Hobbs, adding that Mawingu’s partners needed to see it making money in a sustainable way from the Microsoft TV white spaces technology, which is cheaper than fibre or providing 3G and 4G using base stations.

Mawingu sells 650 megabytes of data for 100 shillings ($1.00) more than the 200 megabytes sold for 100 shillings by established operators.

The Kenyan government forced broadcasters to migrate to digital from analogue in 2014, to free up spectrum frequencies as part of a drive to boost Internet connections.

“Our network will reach parts that other networks can’t reach,” Hobbs said.

Microsoft, which has a representative on Mawingu’s board, said it viewed such partnerships as key to its goal of ensuring the world is connected.

“For businesses and individuals alike to be able to participate in that digital transformation and take advantage of it they need to be connected to broadband,” Lutz Liob, who works with Microsoft Africa, said.


Read More


Category: topnews news business

Suggested

1 hours ago, 12:14
@CITIZENTV - By: Cnn
29 killed in attack on Iranian Military parade

At least 29 people were killed and 70 others wounded in an attack on a military parade in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 11:52
@DailyNation - By: Justus Wanga Pet ...
Clues that link Okoth Obado to murder of Sharon Otieno

Statements from three suspects allege the governor’s involvement in the murder and will be presented in court. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 11:52
@DailyNation - By: Justus Wanga
Bashing, praising in equal measure: Why it’s hard being Raila

After a period of reflection, he has changed approach in dealing with what bedevils the country. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 11:52
@DailyNation - By: Sunday Nation Tea ...
Behind the scenes ploy that pushed MPs to approve new levies

A seemingly rigged vote, coerced MPs, and a pliant house leadership gifted Uhuru VAT wish. ...

Category: topnews news
2 hours ago, 11:20
@StandardMedia - By: Jacob Ngetich
Overtaxing poor Kenyans will be end of Jubilee, Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny warns

Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny has warned that the Jubilee government risks becoming unpopular for overtaxing poor Kenyans. ...

Category: topnews news
2 hours ago, 11:09
@CITIZENTV - By: Reuters
Survivor pulled from capsized MV Nyerere ferry as death toll reaches 218

Divers rescued a man from the wreck of an overcrowded MV Nyerere ferry on Saturday, two days after it capsized on Lake Victoria. ...

Category: topnews news

@StandardMedia

Kenya's Microsoft-backed Mawingu aims to triple broadband users

5 months ago, 21 Apr 10:33

By: Reuters

: Mawingu Networks, a Microsoft backed Kenyan start-up using underutilised television frequencies, aims to triple rural broadband users in the next two years, its chief executive said.

Only 40 percent of the East African nation’s 45 million people have access to high-speed Internet, through fibre and smart phones, offering firms like Mawingu, which uses so-called TV white spaces technology, and Liquid Telecom to compete on cost with telecom operators such as Safaricom.

Since its establishment in 2013, Mawingu, which means cloud in Swahili, has set up 1,500 Internet hotspots in and around Nanyuki, a market town of 50,000 about two hours drive from Nairobi, linking 600 small businesses and 11,000 active users.

“I would like to be three times this size within 18-24 months and from there I would like to be 50 times this size. I would like to have a nationwide rural connectivity network,” Mawingu CEO Tim Hobbs said in an interview.

Such increases would help Mawingu to grow revenue and to become profitable, he said, without giving a timeframe.

The firm is using a $4 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to expand, he said, adding that Mawingu would raise more funds later this year.

“We are not profitable yet but we are heading that way,” said Hobbs, adding that Mawingu’s partners needed to see it making money in a sustainable way from the Microsoft TV white spaces technology, which is cheaper than fibre or providing 3G and 4G using base stations.

Mawingu sells 650 megabytes of data for 100 shillings ($1.00) more than the 200 megabytes sold for 100 shillings by established operators.

The Kenyan government forced broadcasters to migrate to digital from analogue in 2014, to free up spectrum frequencies as part of a drive to boost Internet connections.

“Our network will reach parts that other networks can’t reach,” Hobbs said.

Microsoft, which has a representative on Mawingu’s board, said it viewed such partnerships as key to its goal of ensuring the world is connected.

“For businesses and individuals alike to be able to participate in that digital transformation and take advantage of it they need to be connected to broadband,” Lutz Liob, who works with Microsoft Africa, said.


Read More

Category: topnews news business

Suggested

1 hours ago, 12:14
@CITIZENTV - By: Cnn
29 killed in attack on Iranian Military parade

At least 29 people were killed and 70 others wounded in an attack on a military parade in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 11:52
@DailyNation - By: Justus Wanga Pet ...
Clues that link Okoth Obado to murder of Sharon Otieno

Statements from three suspects allege the governor’s involvement in the murder and will be presented in court. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 11:52
@DailyNation - By: Justus Wanga
Bashing, praising in equal measure: Why it’s hard being Raila

After a period of reflection, he has changed approach in dealing with what bedevils the country. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 11:52
@DailyNation - By: Sunday Nation Tea ...
Behind the scenes ploy that pushed MPs to approve new levies

A seemingly rigged vote, coerced MPs, and a pliant house leadership gifted Uhuru VAT wish. ...

Category: topnews news
2 hours ago, 11:20
@StandardMedia - By: Jacob Ngetich
Overtaxing poor Kenyans will be end of Jubilee, Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny warns

Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny has warned that the Jubilee government risks becoming unpopular for overtaxing poor Kenyans. ...

Category: topnews news
2 hours ago, 11:09
@CITIZENTV - By: Reuters
Survivor pulled from capsized MV Nyerere ferry as death toll reaches 218

Divers rescued a man from the wreck of an overcrowded MV Nyerere ferry on Saturday, two days after it capsized on Lake Victoria. ...

Category: topnews news
Our App