Technology | Economy - Development
Telkom Kenya joins stiff mobile phone market
afrol News, 17 September - Kenya has introduced a third mobile phone service provider as Telkom Kenya unveiled its mobile telephony network under its Orange brand today.
Move will make firm third mobile operator placing it in a head-to-head battle with rivals Safaricom and Zain Kenya Ltd. in race for subscribers.
Telkom Kenya's chief executive officer Dominique Saint-Jean explained in an e-mail statement yesterday in capital, Nairobi that company, ''will address all segments of population, but give more emphasis to small and medium enterprises as well as corporate bodies, which have not been covered sufficiently.''
According to Mr Saint-Jean, Telkom Kenya, previously a provider of fixed-line phone services, has invested about US$84.5 million to upgrade its infrastructure.
Earlier this week, Mr Saint Jean told media that their company would give competitors a run for their money with affordable cross network tariff rates alongside its other services.
"Telkom Kenya offers a fixed wireless service using CDMA technology, our entry into global system for mobile (GSM) will boost our profile in cellular market and we are lucky since we will benefit from latest technology," he said.
A latecomer in a market that is already crowded, Jean said, company has a lean labour force of 3,000 employees down from 17,000 a year ago and 6,000 in December.
He however noted, "we will retain our landline network especially in rural areas where majority of low income earners live and in urban centres where there is no vandalism."
A fourth mobile-phone company, Econet Wireless Kenya Ltd., has announced plans to begin offering services in Kenya in second half of November.
For Telkom Kenya, this marks first major assignment since France Telecom acquired a 51 per cent stake in firm last December as its bets on mobile and Internet business to push it to profit zone before 2010.
According to Telkom Kenya, east African nation's mobile-phone industry had 11.5 million subscribers in May 2008, compared with 900,000 in June 2002.
By staff writer
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