The Principal Secretary,State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Mr.Sammy Itemere (second left) cuts the ribbon to formally launch Ksh. 4.5 million computer equipment and Internet connectivity sponsorship by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to Bushiangala Secondary School in Kakamega county.He is accompanied by the Authority’s Ms.Rachel Alwala,Assistant Director,Communications and External; Affairs (right).

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has today donated ICT equipment worth Ksh. 4.5 million to Bushiangala secondary school in Kakamega County.

The donation, comprising of 21 computers, 2 printers and Internet connectivity for a year, is part of CA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme in furtherance of its mandate of enhancing access to communications services in various parts of the country.

Speaking at the hand over ceremony, the Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Mr. Sammy Itemere, who was the chief guest, lauded the Authority for the gesture, which would go along way to improve the academic standards at the school.

He challenged the school to leverage on the on the ICT equipment to improve its performance given that ICTs are now key enablers of learning and knowledge sharing and by extension drivers of the country’s socio-economic development.

The Authority’s Director General who was represented by Ms. Rachel Alwala, Assistant Director, Communications and External Affairs, said the support would greatly boost the learning experience at the school and nurture future innovators in the ICT space.

‘‘It (the ICT equipment) will therefore serve as an incubator for future innovators who will be relied upon to come up with solutions for everyday challenges in this area and the country at large,’’ said the Director General.

The Director General indicated that Kenya is rapidly evolving into a knowledge-based economy and therefore every effort has to be made create an enabling environment for the realization of that goal.

Bushiangala secondary school principal Mr. Justus Abuko said the donation is an immense boost for the school, which has a population of 500 students.

Besides the CSR sponsorships, the Authority has also put in place other interventions to enhance access to communications across the country.

These include the Education Broadband Connectivity project targeting 896 secondary schools countrywide with high speed Internet. Sixty secondary schools from Kakamega County are benefiting from this programme.

Additionally, CA is in the process of deploying 2G mobile voice services in areas that currently don’t have any access at all.

These projects are being carried out through the Universal Service fund (USF) which is a special fund established by law to avail communications services to all.

The Authority has also partnered with the Kenya National Library Services to digitize 46 public libraries spread across the country.

And as part of efforts to avail its services closer to the citizens, the Authority will soon unveil two more regional offices in Kisumu and Nyeri on top of the ones it currently has in Eldoret and Mombasa. Civil works at the two new offices are at advanced stages.

Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT Mr. Joe Mucheru addressing the press during the media briefing at the Ministry of ICT headquarters. With him is Cabinet Secretary Treasury Mr. Henry Rotich (right) Principal Secretary Broadcasting and Telecommunication Mr. Sammy Itemere (2nd left) and CA Ag. Director General Mr. Christopher Kemei.

The cost of sending money across networks is set to come down following announcement of a pioneering agreement between the Mobile Network Operators to send money to each other whether using Mpesa , Airtel Money or Telkom money on their handsets.

Under the agreement the three mobile network operators will  have  a seamless interaction of the mobile money services -technically referred as interoperability- that is expected to  deepen Kenya’s financial sector.

The pilot, which begins next week between Safaricom and Airtel, follows a similar agreement by mobile network operators, Airtel, Tigo and Zantel of Tanzania in June, 2014.  Kenya has envisaged to have seamless cross boarder money transfer services after  successfully implementing the interoperability locally.

Telkom Kenya is expected to sign an agreement with the two leading operators by mid February.

Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Information Communications and Technology said the agreement will also foster competition in the sector.

“During the trial period, the operators wont levy each other the termination rates, however after the trials they will have to agree on the rates and the amount they will charge consumers,” Mr. Mucheru during the media briefing.

“We expect this to bring in competition and lower the costs or transacting across the networks,” Mr. Mucheru added.

The briefing was attended by Christopher Kemei, acting Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya, Henry Rotich Cabinet Secretary Treasury , Sammy Itemere, Principal Secretary Telecommunications and Broadcasting. Also present were representatives from the three mobile operators.

Although it has been possible to send money through various mobile networks, interoperability will now allow their customers to send and receive money across networks and the e-money goes directly to the respective subscriber’s e-wallet account.

Beyond that, interoperability in Kenya will allow consumers the ability to access different services in case of technical hitches.

Mobile financial services sector has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 2007. This sector is served by over 184,537 agents and in the three months to September 2017 had 28.1 million subscribers.

During the period a total of 537.2 million transactions (sending and withdrawals) were made which was valued at Kshs.1.65 trillion. Mobile commerce transactions which include Customer-to-Business (C2B), Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business- to-Business (B2B) stood at 352.4 million and were valued at Kshs.714.3 billion. Additionally, Person- to-Person (P2P) transfers amounted to Kshs. 544.1 billion.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) fined three mobile operators Ksh.311 million for failing to meet the quality of service (QoS) standards for the 2015/2016 financial year.

According to the QoS report by the CA, neither Safaricom, Airtel nor Telkom Kenya achieved the 80 per cent minimum threshold set for compliance with a number of QoS parameters for the fourth year running.

In the latest report, Safaricom scored 62.5 per cent, while Airtel and Telkom Kenya Ltd were rated at 75 per cent each. However, with an industry average of 70 per cent, the 2015/2016 score is an improvement, compared to the 62.5 per cent average for the preceding year.

The Authority issued the licensees with warning notices for non-compliance and also fined them a sum equivalent to 0.15% of their individual latest financial returns for the period prior to 30th June 2017.

The report also details comparative performance over the past three years thus giving indicators on the relative performance of the operators over time in line with the Kenya Information and Communication Act, 1998, the attendant Regulations and licence conditions in relation to QoS.

The operators were rated on QoS standards expressed in terms of a select set of Parameters/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). A mobile operator is rated compliant when they attain 80% of the set QoS KPIs.

The Authority has continuously invested in systems and infrastructure to better improve the performance of the sector and its assessment methods.  Additionally, a new QoS framework has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders as part of efforts to continually improve the assessment of compliance by the operators.

The new framework will see the Authority assess both data and voice services and increase its sampling rates countrywide.

The Authority has also initiated measures to enhance its capacity to ensure that it is able to effectively respond to emerging technologies and changing consumer service preferences. 

You can read the full report here.