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Kenya: Telkom Clarify Current 3G Offer Print E-mail
Friday, 10 September 2010
After reports of strongly varying performance of Telkom’s internet service, Angela Ng’ang’a Mumo, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, clarified that clients in the areas where the company currently trials the 3G network have access to it: ‘Telkom was granted a one year trial in September 2009 by CCK and given spectral capacity, and then commissioned Ericsson to install 10 two 12 sites in three locations in Nairobi for the trial. These include the central business district, Milimani area, and JKIA airport. Clients in any one of those areas who use an Orange GSM phone will find that it automatically picks the signal.’  

With regard to the full rollout of the service, Ng’ang’a noted that Telkom are currently completing the trial and preparing the model upon which the 3G network on GSM will be based, also taking into account the 3G CDMA network. To roll out the 3G service on the GSM service, Telkom need to pay for frequency and obtain the same from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), and will then install the 3G sites and commercialise the service.

In the meantime, after the agreement on the new license, i.e. frequency fee for 3G, Telkom’s regulatory teams are in discussion with CCK for the purchase for the full use of spectrum. Once this is concluded, and the technical infrastructure installed, then Telkom will begin commercialising the service.

Telkom Orange have found it difficult to compete in the GSM voice market, with subscriber figures reportedly falling behind those of competitor Essar’s Yu brand, and parent company France Telecom also renegotiated the initial conditions of its acquisition of 51% of Telkom Kenya. Orange had to match the aggressive price reductions of new Zain owner Bharti Airtel, but CEO Mickael Ghossein had criticized this downward pressure on tariffs as unsustainable. The company counts on its data services to establish a stronger position in the market, and the full rollout of the 3G service will be a key step to achieve this objective.



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