19 June 2014

Kenya: Safaricom Security Project to Cost Sh21 Billion in All Counties

Nairobi — Safaricom Limited has clarified that the total cost of the Public Safety Security Project awarded to the firm will be Sh21.5 billion when deployed to all the 47 counties.

In a statement sent to newsrooms on Thursday, Safaricom said the amount which is inclusive of annual maintenance costs remains an estimate, subject to change depending on specific requirements of the National Police Service.

The telco says that the costs of the first phase that includes deploying in Nairobi and Mombasa currently quoted for at Sh14.9 billion, are inclusive of the most capital intensive components of the system that includes the establishment of core network and operation centres as well as maintenance costs.

This means that the cost of scaling up to other counties will be less capital intensive as it will cover much smaller incremental costs because there will be no replication of core network infrastructure.

The company revealed that the proposed contract with the National Police Service is for five years as currently scoped and not 10 years as indicated in sections of the media.

"It is instructive to note that as a measure of good faith, we have provided a system support guarantee including spare parts availability for a period of 10 years, whether or not our contract is extended upon its expiry," said Safaricom Corporate Affairs Director Nzioka Waita.

Safaricom's scope includes the design and construction of the network, with the management of the system handed over to the National Police Service once the network is up and running.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore on Wednesday defended the security contract awarded to the firm by the government, saying they are capable of handling it.

Speaking when he appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security, Collymore stated that Safaricom has in its 14 years of existence been able to deploy and continue to support over 3,000 base stations around Kenya which run on 2G and 3G networks adding that the firm has also deployed the LTE network in approximately 10 areas in Kenya.

"We have the ability to deploy and mobilise resources and materials almost instantaneously; we have become an integrated communications company that meets the needs to this nation.

"We are confident that we have the capability and competence to deliver on our contractual obligations," he added.

The Public Safety Security Project is a government-owned initiative using the latest technology to enhance the security in the country.

The scope of the project will be the construction and support of a robust communications network, managed centrally by the National Police Service.

Once successfully commissioned, the security agencies will effectively and efficiently perform the dispatch and mobilisation of officers on a daily basis, and more particularly, during emergency situations.

The first phase will focus on Nairobi and Mombasa cities. It can later be scaled to reach other parts of the country according to government plans.

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