Telkom Kenya goes mobile; Econet plans 3G at launch

16 Sep 2008

Kenya is to get its third cellular network this week with the launch of the first wireless services by fixed line incumbent Telkom Kenya. The part-privatised telco was offered a cellular licence last year as part of a deal which saw it transfer its 60% stake in mobile market leader Safaricom back to government ownership. ‘Telkom Kenya will address all segments of the population, but give more emphasis to small and medium enterprises as well as corporate bodies, which have not been covered sufficiently,’ the firm said in a statement. It has invested around KES6 billion (USD85 million) upgrading its networks to allow it to launch a mobile service, Bloomberg reports.

Separately, the country’s fourth cellular licensee, Econet Wireless Kenya, says it intends to offer 3G mobile data services alongside its GSM service when it launches in November. A UMTS 3G network has already been launched in Kenya by Safaricom.