Just found out that Safaricom has quietly launched its mobile portal, Safaricom Live!. The site is located at http://www.safaricom.com and features premium mobile content and services in the form of ring tones, wallpapers, videos, information services, email and games.
I have been hearing rumours for the past couple of years that Safaricom has been working with a certain leading telecom services provider to build a mobile portal so I guess that Safaricom Live! is the final outcome.
I wonder how this will position Safaricom with their various value added services (VAS) providers such as Cellulant, Interactive Media Services and Mobile Planet who presumably will now be competing with Safaricom with their offerings. However, considering that Safaricom is investing considerably in pushing theirÂ internet/data services, this is an obvious play to build traffic (and incremental revenue) using with proprietary content that they own/market to their customers.
On the way forward, what remains to be seen is how many of Safaricom’s 10+ million subscribers will sign-up for Safaricom Live! This will be a test of how much affinity Kenyan mobile internet users have for premium content and services, especially directly from an operator. In addition, it remains to be seen how well Zain, Orange and YU will respond to Safaricom Live! in launching their own mobile internet portals. All in all, its good to see progress happening on the mobile content and services front in Kenya.