Essar to invest USD500 million in Econet

22 Aug 2008

India’s Essar Global has said it will invest USD500 million in Econet Wireless Kenya over the next two years. The money will be used to finance network build out, with Econet CEO Michael Foley saying the investment will also be used to pay for licenses for other telecommunications services, and on the establishment of a wireless broadband service.

Earlier this week TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Update reported Econet had been granted a two-month extension to its rollout deadline after petitioning the government for more time to deploy its networks. Foley now says the Kenyan mobile phone network will be running by the end of November, and that Essar then plans to expand to Uganda and other countries in the eastern region.

Essar Global purchased 49% of South Africa-based Econet Wireless International that in turn holds 70% of Econet Wireless Kenya in December 2007 through its subsidiary, Essar Communications Holdings. Econet was granted a wireless licence in September 2007.

Kenya, Essar Telecom Kenya (yu)