Some of Israel’s leading high-tech telecoms companies are poised to enter the liberalising Kenyan telecoms sector, according to AllAfrica.com. Officials of leading firms are reported to be holding talks in the country to raise awareness of their abilities and have officially invited Kenya’s main players to attend the Telecom Israel 2004 conference next month.
The country’s national operator Telkom Kenya has held a de facto monopoly on the fixed line market since its creation in 1999, although this looks set to change after the regulator, the CCK, awarded a second national operator (SNO) licence to Bell Western in January. The newcomer, which already holds a concession to operate as an regional telecoms operator, paid KES41 million (USD505,000) for the concession, enabling it to launch services in the areas of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera in the North Eastern Province. Under the terms of the licence, it is required to roll out 21,000 lines in its first five years of operation, and 636 payphones by 2007. Bell Western will provide services under the brand name Warsan Communications Services