24 June 2014

Kenya: CA Firm On Mobile Operators' Infrastructure Sharing

Nairobi — The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is set to enforce infrastructure sharing among mobile services operators by September.

CA Director General Francis Wangusi says the Authority has already laid out guidelines that will compel all mobile service providers with excess capacity to share the infrastructure on commercial basis with other players.

The Authority plans to penalise those who will fail to comply.

Wangusi says this is in bid to lower investments costs in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.

"We also are thinking in drawing the synergy in terms of the penetration of each particular player across the country so that the subscriber of one player who has not reached a certain place cannot be disadvantaged," he said.

He said that the regulations will be ready by September.

The move comes as the Authority licensed three mobile virtual network operators increasing competition in the country.

The three licenses include Finserve Limited, Zioncell Kenya Limited and MobilePay Limited which will be hosted by Airtel Kenya.

Finserve Limited is a subsidiary of Equity Bank that is set to launch its services in July 2014.

Equity plans to mirror all its banking services into the mobile phone.

MobilePay Limited is the ICT Company that has designed and runs the current 'Tangaza Pesa' money transfer applications which has been in existence for over three years now.

Tangaza Pesa was earlier licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and CCK to operate as a Money Transfer and E-Payments System.

On the other hand, Zioncell Kenya Limited is an affiliate of Mobile Decisioning (MODE), a technology company that provides mobile value added services to mobile network operators in emerging nations. It has live operations in 13 countries in Africa at the moment.

The move also comes even as Essar of India which owns yuMobile has given notice of exiting the Kenyan market.

Safaricom was to buy yuMobile's infrastructure but backed out after CA gave them tough conditions that included sharing its infrastructure.

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