CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

18 February 2014

Kenya: ZTE in Drive to Expand Partnerships With Govt and MNOS in Kenya

China's telecoms equipment and network solutions provider ZTE has announced plans to expand its footprint in the local market by deepening relationships with existing clients while also striving to attract new customers both from public and private sector.

During a recent media briefing, ZTE Kenya CEO Mr Liu Sen said that the firm would this year focus on three key areas - mobile network operators; government and enterprises as well as devices and terminals, a segment where the firm is currently ranked fourth globally).

"In 2014, we aim to strengthen our partnerships with mobile network operators by helping them improve their overall network quality. We will also be looking at the area of LTE and Cloud Computing and how this can be utilized by government for better public service delivery," said Sen.

This, added Sen, would involve the deployment of ZTE's latest solutions; collaboration with the government to accelerate the country's overall IT penetration as well as technical skills transfer.

"Kenya already has one ZTE Training Centre. We therefore plan to partner with the government to provide advanced solutions for better public service delivery mainly in the areas of health, transportation and energy," he said.

The firm - which set up its Kenya office in 1998 - has already conducted 75 LTE deployments globally with 3 of these being in Africa through MNOs in Namibia, Angola and South Africa. A deployment in Kenya would see it expand its LTE footprint in the continent though it's concerned about the lack of clarity on the technology from the government.

ZTE currently has partnerships with Orange and YuKenya. The firm's GSM solutions got a boost when Orange - which uses its solutions - attained the highest score of 62.5 per cent in terms of quality of service during the 2012/2013 period according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (now CAK).

In terms of government partnerships, ZTE has already deployed 1,200km of the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI). All these partnerships and resulting revenues are crucial for the firm as it seeks to increase its overall revenues from Africa from the current 9 per cent, with the Chinese market contributing the bulk at 47 per cent followed by EU, Oceania and Americas at 25 per cent with the rest of Asia contributing 19 per cent.

In terms of generators, ZTE derives 49 per cent of revenues from carrier networks with devices (or terminals) bringing in 31 per cent while tele-software adds another 20 per cent to the overall kitty.

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