CCK seeks third operator

15 Apr 2003

The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) has officially invited tenders for a third GSM operator to compete with existing mobile operators Safaricom and Kencel. The CCK began the licensing process in February and intends to have the selected cellco operational by October this year. Minimum requirements stipulate that potential operators must: currently manage an existing subscriber base of at least 250,000; be made up of a minimum of 30% local investors; submit a financial and network company history showing a minimum annual turnover of USD100 million; and provide annual reports covering the last three years. The current subscriber base of the two incumbents is 1.3 million in what is shaping up to be one of the fastest growing markets in the region. It is predicted that the country’s total subscriber base could top three million by 2013, raising concerns that the quality of service from current networks may suffer as a result of overstretched capacity. The Kenyan government, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), is investing heavily in the recovery of the country’s economy and hopes to raise further income through the sale of this third GSM concession.