After a long silence without commenting on media reports that alleged their exit from Kenya’s Telecommunication sector, Orange Kenya aka Telecom Kenya has now refuted media reports that it will shut down its operations, saying it is instead investing more in the country just as the statement we got from Orange Uganda recently.
Reports that the company was planning to exit the Kenyan market had caused a stir into the industry with stakeholders discerning about the future of mobile communication in the country.
The Orange Kenya Boss Mickael Ghossein told reporters at his office last week that the company is instead investing over $30 million towards transforming its operations to enhance service delivery and increase market share at a time when competition in industry tends to discriminate against small players.
This comes at a time when Essar which trades under the yu brand name also announced that it was selling of its asset to the two leading players Safaricom and Airtel.
Safaricom the dorminant player in Kenya mobile communication industry hold about 70 per cent market share and Airtel follows with just about 25 per cent. Orange and Essar share the remaining five per cent, a situation that has hindered their growth in a riotous market.
Currently the Kenyan government holds 30 percent stake in Telecom Kenya and the CEO has explained that France Telecom that has 70 percent shareholding in the company is looking for strategic partners that will pump in more capital to the business. “We are putting in more capital to meet growing demand for our services to the market and provide our customers with superior services,” Ghossein said.
ORANGE KENYA TALKS FUTURE PLANS
Ghossein further said that the capital expenditure is targeted at rolling out 3G network across the country, expand the national optic fibre backbone and launch the Multi Service Access Node (MSAN). They are also constructing the national backbone fibre and laying of transport cables across the country in preparation for the launch of Internet connectivity via optional fibre networks in Kenya and by extension the region.
There also plans of constructing and managing the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) on behalf of the government and currently has five operators using the network having constructed a total of 5,200 kilometres of duct fibre. He said the company has built and is operating three of the four landing stations for fibre optics, that include The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS), Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION II).
He further said that “Telkom Kenya is an ongoing business concern and we are focused on growing our business and serving our customers.”
[label variation=”label-success”]EAST AFRICAN BUSINESS WEEK[/label]