The licensing process commences with the submission of a duly completed application form that should be completed in English. Application forms are available for download at the License Application Forms section of this page. All applications must be addressed to the Authority.
Within the form, there are details of the minimum requirements for acceptance of any licence application. Generally, all applicants should meet the following minimum conditions:
- The entity should be registered in Kenya as a limited liability company, sole proprietor, Co-operative Society or partnership.
- Have a duly registered office and permanent premises in Kenya.
- In case of a company should provide copy of certificate of shareholding –CR12
- Co-operative Societies should provide Minutes of their last AGM held, by-laws and letters of proof or registration by the Ministry of
- Co-operatives or the appropriate Ministry.
- Company with foreign ownership Issue at least 20% of its shares to Kenyans on or before the end of three years after receiving a license.
- Provide a valid tax compliance and PIN certificate
Upon receipt of the application, the following process ensues:
- Payment of the prescribed non-refundable application fee (currently Ksh.5, 000).
- Publishing of the applicant’s name in the Kenya Gazette upon endorsement by the Communication Licensing Committee and awaits the expiry of 30 days within which representations on the application from interested parties could be raised.
- Upon expiry of the 30 days period and without representation from interested parties, the application is forwarded to the Board for further consideration and approval.
- The applicant is advised on the license fee payable.
- Issuance of the postal/courier license.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is mandated to license all communications systems and services in the country. In executing this and its other responsibilities, CA is guided by the provisions of the relevant statutes, including; the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 and the Kenya Communications Regulations 2001.
Commercial telecommunications licensees are authorized to set up telecommunications systems and/or to provide telecommunications services to third parties in accordance with the license terms and conditions. CA issues commercial licenses on a first-come-first-served basis and the turn-around time is 135 days.
Unified licensing framework
The Authority has in place a Unified Licensing Framework (ULF), which is technology and service neutral. The ULF market is structured into three main licenses:
- Network Facilities Provider.
- Application Service Provider.
- Content Service Provider.
In addition, investors who wish to land a submarine cable in Kenya require a Submarine Cable Land license while those interested in building system for the provision of international voice or data services are required to get a license for international Systems and Services. Details of the various telecommunications licenses are available on the web-link:
Download New Market Structure Under The Unified Licensing Framework -2021
An entity may be issued with multiple commercial licenses, provided that it maintains separate accounts for each license.
Telecommunications licensing requirements
The licensing process commences with the submission of a duly completed application form. Application forms are available for download at the License Application Forms section of this page.
Within the form, details of the minimum requirements for acceptance of an application for each type of license and applicable fees are available. Generally, all applicants for commercial licenses should meet the following minimum conditions:
- The entity should be registered in Kenya as a company, sole proprietor or partnership.
- Have a duly registered office and permanent premises in Kenya.
- Provide details of shareholders and directors.
- Issue at least 30% of its shares to Kenyans on or before the end of three years after receiving a license.
- Provide evidence of compliance with tax requirement.
For ordinary vendor applicants, the requirements are:
- A letter signed by company CEO, on company letter-head, asking for authorization to sell low power equipment.
- The letter must provide contact details such as physical and postal address, telephone numbers, emails etc. for the company.
- Indicate the type and model of equipment to be sold.
- Attach company Certificate of Incorporation or registration certificate copy to the letter.
- Attach copy of the company PIN Certificate.
Telecommunications licensing procedures
An application is deemed received when the Authority accepts the application fees and issues a receipt and the applicant has met all the requirements. Applications sent by post are logged in as letters until or unless the applicable license application fee is received. Once an application is accepted, it undergoes processing, which may include publication in the Kenya Gazette in accordance with the law. At the conclusion of the licensing process, an applicant is advised of the outcome in writing.
- If CA approves an application for a Telecommunications license, the applicant is required to take up the offer within six (6) months, failure to which he/she may be required to apply afresh if still interested.
- On taking up the offer, the license must be put into operation within 12 months from the date of issuance.
- It is a requirement that all electronic communications systems/equipment be type approved by CA before they are activated. Further, CA inspects all networks before they are put into operation.
- Telecommunications licenses relate to operational authorization, which allows licensees to set-up systems, and/or provide services to third parties. These licenses are not tied to any roll-out resources such as radio spectrum, numbering (including ENAM) and/or way-leaves. Investors are advised to seek for such resources separately after they are granted a relevant operational license.
- Investors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with licensing terms and conditions available on sample licenses posted in the License Application Forms section of this page.
For more inquiries, please contact: The Director, Licensing, Compliance and Standards P.O. Box 14448, Nairobi 00800. Tel. +254 20 4242000, +254703 042000 Email: email@example.com
Licensing of broadcasting services under the new regulatory framework shall commence in two folds;
- The principle of first come first served will apply to all broadcasting service licences which do not require assignment of the frequency resource (such as cable TV, subscription management, landing rights, etc.)
- Broadcasting services requiring frequency spectrum resource shall require the available frequencies to be first identified by the Authority; and then advertised publicly (in whole or in batches) for interested parties to apply for the licence(s). In this case, applications not responding to such adverts/notices shall not be considered.
For frequency based broadcasting services, the Authority shall publish the list of available frequencies / channels in at least one print media in Kenya and on the CA website informing interested applicants to apply for provision of the identified broadcasting service (s). Such publication shall be the trigger point for interested applicants to submit application for specific licenses within the time frame specified.
Procedure for authorization and licensing of Radio Communication Services
In accordance with provision of Section 36 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, all radio communication equipment in Kenya must be owned and/or operated under a license, issued by CA and which must be kept in force at all times by regular payment of the prescribed license fee.
The process of authorization and license administration for radio communication services is as outlined below:
- Private Radio Networks (HF/VHF, Private Paging)
- Fixed, Cellular Mobile and Public Paging Services
- Amateur Radio License
- Citizen Band Radio License
- Aircraft Station License
- Maritime (Ship) Station License
- Guidelines for use of Wireless Access Systems (WAS) on Shared Non Protected Basis in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Frequency Bands
Eligibility, Application procedures and general conditions for numbering resources
- All licenced operators that require numbers for their operations, are eligible for assignment of numbers from the national numbering resource.
- Organizations intending to become licenced under the Act and whose granting of the licence has been agreed in principle and require numbers for planning, may seek reservations of numbering resource for a maximum period of three months.
- End users and service providers requiring numbers shall seek secondary assignment from those eligible. These secondary assignments should be done in line with the principles of transparency, non-discriminatory and equitable access, for those with rights to assignments of numbers from the Authority.
- All licenced Mobile operators shall be eligible for administration of Short Numbers with leading digits 2 to 8 to own customers licenced to provide service to the mobile operators end users for text messaging. The administered short numbers shall also be liable for the audit process under 5.10 below.
- Short codes in the series beginning with 1 and 9 are designated for customer services and emergency services and are only assigned directly by the Authority.
Conditions for Assignment of Numbers
The Authority assigns numbers under the following conditions:
- The assigned numbering resources must be put into service within a period of six months from the date of assignment. The resources that are not activated after the expiry of the six-month period, without approval from the Authority, are automatically withdrawn and reverted back to the CA and made available to other users. Additionally, the assignee loses the right to use the numbers
- Applicants for additional numbers must account for the numbers earlier assigned within the relevant category and show evidence of 80% utilization in order to be considered for any additional resource assignments.
- Numbers and Addresses assigned by the CA are not transferable, without the permission from the Authority.
- The CA may conduct regular audits on the utilization of the numbering resources to ensure that the resources are utilized for the intended purpose and used in accordance with the prescribed procedures.
- Additionally, all assignments, reservations, reclamations and penalties are subject to the prevailing Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act 2009, the prevailing regulations, the licence conditions, the prescribed dialling formats and relevant International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standards and guidelines that are issued from time to time.
- Any violations may result in the cancellation of the assignment.
The licenses issued by the Authority come with certain Terms and Conditions that spell out the obligations of the licensees in the provision of various services. The Authority regularly monitors the activities of the licensees to ensure they operate within the prescribed parameters.
The following are the licenses issued by the Authority for telecommunications services:
- Application Service Provider Licence
- Community Network and Service Provider Licence
- Content Service Provider Licence
- International Gateway Systems and Services Licence
- Network Facilities Provider Tier I Licence
- Network Facilities Provider Tier II Licence
- Network Facilities Provider Tier III Licence
- Submarine Cable Landing Rights Licence
- Procedures & Guidelines