Local media add to controversy over SNO licence auction

28 Jul 2004

Norway’s Telenor was due to be handed Kenya’s second national operator (SNO) licence before the state intervened and cancelled its tender, according to Business Week. Earlier this week the Kenyan government abandoned the auction of the second fixed line licence after claiming that just one of the seven consortia that applied was deemed to be ‘properly qualified’. Although five of the consortia met initial prequalification criteria, after a technical evaluation of the bids only three were shortlisted. Of these, only one met further specifications laid down by the government, leading Information and Communications Minister Raphael Tuju to annul the auction as a ‘non-responsive bidding process’. Business Week claims that Telenor was the lone bidder to meet all the necessary criteria for the concession and that Tuju had no right to cancel the tender. It also claims that the price of the concession should not be an issue as the state had set a KES2 billion reserve on the licence before going on to suggest that the Norwegian company has indicated it will take its case to the high court.

Kenya, Telenor Group