Safaricom Ltd started as a department of the Kenya Posts Telecommunications Corporation, the former monopoly operator. Safaricom launched operations in 1993 based on an analogue ETACS network and was upgraded to GSM in 1996. Safaricom Ltd was incorporated on April 3, 1997 as a private limited liability company. It was converted into a public company with limited liability on May 16, 2002.
By virtue of the 60% shareholding held by the Government, Safaricom was a State corporation. Until December 20, 2007, Government shares were held by Telkom Kenya Ltd, a State corporation. Following the sale to the public of 25 per cent of issued shares held by Government in March 2008, the Government ceased to have a controlling interest in Safaricom.
Safaricom has about 16 million subscribers and is a one-stop shop for integrated and converged data and voice communication. Safaricom can provide broadband high-speed data to customers through the 3G network, Wirnax and fibre. Its money transfer product, M-PESA, has been an overwhelming success.