Liquid Telecom Kenya, part of leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, is now providing free internet to Nairobi Garage’s newly opened Entrepreneurship Centre along Ngong Road in Nairobi, supporting up to 300 co-workers with free high-speed fibre internet connectivity of 150Mbps. The move forms part of Liquid Telecom Kenya’s drive to support businesses across Kenya with both internet and, now, software services too.
Adil Youssefi, Liquid Telecom Kenya’s CEO, unveiled the free connection at the launch of a joint Liquid Telecom and Microsoft event at the Entrepreneurship Centre outlining the two companies’ partnership, which provides international software, such as Microsoft Azure, on the cloud across Africa.
“Liquid Telecom will be offering Microsoft cloud services and applications that developers and IT professionals can use to build, deploy and manage applications across the continent,” said Adil. “This means our internet infrastructure across Africa will now enable companies and entrepreneurs to operate with international software based on easy access to cloud products and services that we are now delivering through our partnership with Microsoft.”
The Liquid Telecom and Microsoft deal offers a cloud connectivity service level agreement that bundles together data and cloud services to ensure that businesses never run out of data bundles, ensuring their operations are seamless.
Liquid Telecom is also offering Microsoft Azure enterprise customers in Africa a Microsoft ExpressRoute service; a reliable, cost-effective, lower latency, faster and highly secured connection over the internet into European-based Azure clouds.
Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute offers an extension to on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a private connection facilitated by a connectivity provider. With ExpressRoute, connections are established onto the Microsoft cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility suite and Windows 10.
The Microsoft cloud services offer business of all sizes in Africa numerous benefits. Microsoft Azure enables businesses to develop, test, feedback and retry their applications during development, meaning they can explore new avenues and new technologies.
Microsoft Office 365, meanwhile, offers businesses the ability to work from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. It also offers access to the latest versions of Office at no additional charge and without having to uninstall and reinstall Office on everyone’s machines, while Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides businesses with social selling, content collaboration, mobile sales, planning and management, and intelligence.
Together, these Microsoft platforms offer enterprise mobility, allowing employees to carry out business activities through their mobile devices, accessing business information effortlessly, which can trigger greater business opportunities and lead to greater returns on investments.
Windows 10, one of the most secure operating systems, provides further security and productivity benefits, including allowing businesses to keep their data, devices and users protected around the clock, giving small and mid-sized business the benefits of enterprise-grade security and control without complexity or unrealistic costs.
For coworkers at Nairobi Garage’s Entrepreneurship Centre, accessing the Liquid Telecom infrastructure and Microsoft cloud will now come as part of a membership costing from Sh2000 to Sh15000 a month for fully enabled working space.
“At Nairobi Garage, we believe in providing more than just workspace to our members. We want to provide our community with the very best tools to allow them to innovate and thrive. Today’s partnership with Liquid Telecom is another exciting development for our new hub space, Nairobi Garage Ngong Road, and we look forward to welcoming old and new members to our state-of-the-art premises,” said Hannah Clifford, director of Nairobi Garage.
Kwale County is this month launching free street Wi-Fi in Baraza Park and Ukunda and an online services portal, KwalePay, following an investment project by Liquid Telecom in high speed Internet to the county, which is one of Kenya’s poorest.
The county is launching KwalePay as a one-stop online gateway to all the county government’s services, meaning residents can get business licences, pay land rent and access council services from their mobile phones, home computers and cybercafés.
The new Internet services from Kwale County Government follow Liquid Telecom Kenya’s delivery of a 25Mbps fibre network connecting the county government headquarters and regional offices, and servicing Kwale’s new street Wi-Fi and digitalised services.
“The county’s Revenue Management System (RMS) will enable residents do all payments online, cutting long queues at the headquarters, and enhancing revenue collection and transparency,” said Juma Kingi the County ICT Director.
“In this, ICT is removing the human interface from revenue collection. We have developed a payment solution and integrated an SMS platform that will send reminders to residents to pay their renewals fees before their due dates, in a system we believe will now double our revenue collection,” said Kingi.
Liquid Telecom has also installed a Wide Area Network (WAN) for the county government, connecting its headquarters with its regional offices in Msambweni, Matuga, Lunga Lunga and Kinango via a 36km-radius network.
The installations now see Kwale join 39 counties across Kenya that have rolled out digitalised systems offering their services online, but the county is among the first few – notably including Nakuru and Kiambu – to additionally develop free street Wi-Fi.
“Our aim is to make county services accessible on mobile phones and in grassroot cybercafés, saving the residents time and money spent travelling to our headquarters. This will cut out long journeys, for instance, from Lunga Lunga to headquarters saving residents about Sh440 on transport alone,” said Anthony Mwamunga the Kwale County Government Chief of Staff.
The new network has also meant county staff are now able to use staff emails, where previously they had only personal Gmail or Yahoo accounts. “The county is also working on installing a call extension service across its offices to cut down its mobile phone calls costs,” said Kingi.
The development of high-speed Internet in Kwale has additionally opened up the county to new business opportunities and enabled residents to access services previously only available in Kenya’s major cities and towns.
Equity Bank, for instance, has launched 231 bank agencies across the county, in a move that has created jobs and saved further costs for residents, who are now able to access and transfer money with ease.
“We genuinely believe in the role that Internet connectivity plays in developing the economic prospects of a region through job creation and greater ease of doing business. This has been seen all around the world. But taking these services into some of Kenya’s must unequal counties is a mission of which we are very proud, and one that we shall continue to pursue with vigour,” said Adil Youssefi, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya.
poa! Internet in partnership with Liquid Telecom Kenya has launched a new Internet model into the Kibera slums, drawing thousands of subscribers in just a few months.
Delivered using solar powered hotspots and company has also provided free Internet access to Kibera schools, health centres, churches, mosques and youth centres.
Established in August last year in Kenya, poa! Internet is now employing 25 staff, mostly young people, the majority of them from Kibera, selling Internet for as little as Sh10 for 25MB.
The company’s aim is to bring millions of East Africans online over the next years, using innovative technology and ‘kidogo’ product pricing.
“We are selling internet to individuals in Kibera at affordable prices, and have also provided free Internet to more than eight health centres, 20 schools, and 20 cyber cafes’ in the area” said Mr Andy Halsall, CEO of poa! internet.
poa! is using Liquid Telecom Kenya’s fibre infrastructure, known as a local loop, from a connection near Kibera, to supply the internet to residents of Africa’s second largest slum.
“Liquid Telecom is our partner in ensuring that the less privileged population of Kibera access the same services and quality of Internet as their counterparts in other parts of the country, and at an affordable cost”, he said.
The partnership is making a swift and visible difference, he said.
“Internet has made life much better, with more youths engaging in businesses, such as cyber cafes, and shops where they are selling bundles. This has had a positive impact on these individuals and put great potential in their hands”, he said.
The cost of accessing the internet using poa! ranges from as low as Sh10 for 25 MB to Sh3,000 for 20 GB, in bundles that do not expire. “We have ensured that anybody in Kibera wanting to use high speed, high quality Internet can do so for just a few bob” said Andy.
poa! also provides its customers with free access to a wide range of digital content, including educational and healthcare and other socially beneficial materials as well as sports, entertainment and news. “We want to ensure that the people of Kibera can get access to the latest information even when they don’t have cash in their pocket”, he explained.
Andy raised seed funding in the UK to launch the business, on the basis that East Africa still holds huge potential for internet consumption.
“We are targeting millions of subscribers in this region, if our plans go as scheduled,” he said. “East Africa is highly educated but still not everybody has access to internet.”
This vision has seen Liquid Telecom Kenya name poa! internet as an outstanding example of last mile development of the group’s East African infrastructure.
“The launch and rapid rise of poa! Internet in Kibera represents a fulfilment of our own purpose and vision too, after we invested heavily in the new Nairobi metro network so that it can provide up to 20 times more internet data across the city with high quality and reliability,” said Mr Ben Roberts, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya.
He said Liquid telecom was looking forwards to supporting poa! internet as their business expands and rolls out to other areas.
Liquid Telecom, the pan-African fibre operator, has announced the launch of Hai, its new home and business internet brand for Africa.
Hai will offer Internet access to households and SMEs, with options for WiMax and Fibre connections depending on location.
Hai, which means “I am alive” in Swahili, will serve homes and SMEs with its packages carrying a variety of value-added services, including video-on-demand ipidi tv.
The products web portal (Hai.co.ke) provides options for home and business users who can are guided through a 6 step process that begins with confirming location and end with payment confirmation.
Some of the packages on offer include but are not limited to Hai-Waya 10 (Fibre) that offers up to 10 mbps download and upload speeds for KES 3,499 (Inc. VAT) and Hai-Max (WiMax) that offers up to 2 mbps download and upload speeds for KES 2,499 (Inc. VAT).
Wimax end users are given the option to purchase the CPE by paying an amount totaling to Kshs 30,0o0 exclusive of tax to Liquid or lease by paying an amount totaling to Kshs1, 500 per month.
By combining both WiMax and Fibre internet connections, Liquid Telecom has ensured that every location in Nairobi and its surrounding areas is covered.
Liquid Telecom Kenya launches Hai for Home and Business Internet