Telkom to make mobile move?

31 Oct 2006

Telkom Kenya says it plans to enter the country’s cellular market, despite already having a 60% stake in market leading operator Safaricom. Nairobi newspaper The East African reports that state-owned Telkom is likely to be awarded a full operating concession to match that of the newly-licensed second national operator (SNO), which covers wireline, wireless and data services. Telkom is currently the dominant operator in the wireline and data markets, but its wireless subsidiary is managed by 40% shareholder Vodafone. It is therefore thought to be keen to enter the mobile market under its own steam, where it will be able to capitalise on its strong position in the fixed line sector. Vodafone is reportedly opposed to the idea, however. Kenya’s mobile market is currently home to two players – Safaricom and Celtel – which served more than 6.1 million subscribers at the end of June. Two more operators are due to launch in 2007, with Econet Wireless and the SNO both holding wireless concessions, and the arrival of Telkom would crowd the market even further.

Kenya, Safaricom, Telkom Kenya