Safaricom Live!

Just found out that Safaricom has quietly launched its mobile portal, Safaricom Live!. The site is located at 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 their  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.

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  1. May 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm — Reply

    This is one step forward and two steps back-word with respect to our knowledge economy.
    Step forward: Promotion local content and online culture through a big brand – Safaricom.
    Steps Back-word
    (1) Suffocation of emerging local premium service providers – The few success stories of the our local software industry.
    (2) Courting the IT wheeler dealer culture whereby Principle gifts Ericsson inflated/huge Portal development contract, who in turn subcontract to a local software house at 20% value of contract. Broker takes 80% and invites South African pal for the spoils of ‘Maintenance Contract’

  2. May 11, 2009 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Hmmm…it was inevitable. Execution though leaves alot to be desired. I cant access the portal through the safaricom wap. I guess right idea with clunky execution. When will Kenyan companies start getting it…

  3. […] portal which has all sorts of downloads including ringtones, videos, wallpapers, games, etc. I had written about this service a couple of months back and was very concerned that Safaricom was basically competing with its […]

  4. Kadenge
    February 3, 2010 at 1:17 am — Reply

    Very interesting!!! proposition I believe we get the best of both worlds. The financial muscle behind safaricom live will drive products somewhat like Chelsea FC & Man City. But the independent VAS providers still have the edge by being lean, collaborating etc and will have to be more innovative now. I guess the usual ringtones, screen savers wont work they gotta thinkout of the box

    A win-win if you ask me!!

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