Leaked report reveals comprehensive liberalisation plan

18 Aug 2004

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is to launch a major effort to open up the country’s telecoms market presenting new investment and job opportunities in the process, according to a confidential report obtained by the Business Week newspaper. The leaked paper documents a dramatic change in policy, confirming the regulator’s decision to deregulate the licensing of international gateways for voice and data traffic, paving the way for the advent of competition in those markets. Under the new proposals the CCK plans to offer an unlimited number of licences for international gateways, allowing the market to decide on the level of competition it can bear. The decision is seen by many as a sea change in thinking, given that the government previously planned to only license the Second National Operator (SNO) and two internet backbone providers. The policy change has confirmed suspicions that once the issue of the SNO is resolved, the regulator will no longer auction licences, presenting major financial implications for national PTO Telkom Kenya. If implemented, the move would also have a knock-on effect on the financial viability of the SNO, which was previously promised a two-year duopoly on international gateway licences.

Kenya, Telkom Kenya