Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Ag. Director General Mr.Christopher Kemei (centre) addressing the media during a workshop on the dissemination of the competition study in the telecommunications sector.He is flanked by Mr.Mantano Ndaro, Director,Competition and Tarrif Annlysis at the Authority and Broadcasting and Telecommunications PS MR.Sammy Itemere (right).

The Authority today hosted a stakeholders meeting on the Telecommunications Competition Study, bringing to end speculations of piecemeal implementation of the study by the regulator, without first subjecting the report through a process of public consultation.

Today’s meeting now sets the stage for release of the final report including a roadmap for implementation of the adopted competition study recommendations.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru, who was represented by the PS Mr. Sammy Itemere, said the government through the Authority considered the workshop and in particular the high level of interest by the industry an integral component for the successful execution and completion of the study.

“This study is equally a necessary input to the regulatory tools in support of a competitive telecommunications environment that can ensure increased returns on investment, and affordable access to services by the consumer,” Mr Mucheru added.

The ICT CS also allied fears that the Government through the Authority is planning to split the business of players who are alleged or perceived to be dominant.

“I wish to note that it is not the Government’s intention to punish success but enhance competition so as to foster growth of the telecommunications subsector,” Mr Mucheru added.

The Authority in May 2016 contracted M/S Analysys Mason of the UK to undertake the study. This was inline with its statutory mandate of developing and ensuring fair competition in the ICT sector.

The objective of the study was to establish the degree of competition and its effectiveness in the various telecommunications markets in Kenya. 

Christopher Kemei, acting the CA Director General assured the industry, ICT consumers and the public that the Authority remains committed to discharging its mandate of ensuring fair competition in the sector without fear or favour.

“The rapid evolution of ICTs has not only enhanced competition but also calls for the re-alignment of the existing structures to the market realities,” Mr Kemei said.

 “We therefore welcome comments on the study findings, as well as the recommendations with the view of improving the final outcome,” he added.

You can read the draft report here

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.