Kenyan regulators to renew Safaricom operational licence

The Communications Commission of Kenya has agreed to renew Safaricom’s operational licence for the next ten years for a reported $27.1 million.

Kenya’s largest carrier has been questioned over its QoS, following complaints in the market. The regulator said it had failed to meet the minimum threshold required for service coverage for the last three years, but the licence was renewed regardless.

The government’s launch of an “open access” LTE network has also suffered a setback, after Safaricom said it was pulling out of the joint venture.

Local reports suggest that the mobile company had expressed concerns that shareholders were delaying an agreement, and needed to act quickly to satisfy the demand from data-hungry consumers.

Data from TeleGeography suggests that participants in the LTE scheme include domestic mobile operators including Safaricom, Airtel, Essar and Telkom Kenya, in addition to Liquid Telecom and MTN Business Kenya.

Vendors from the shortlist include European companies Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks.

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