Zain and Essar to share infrastructure

7 Apr 2009

Wireless operators Zain Kenya and Essar Telecom Kenya (ETK, previously known as Econet Wireless Kenya) have agreed to share network infrastructure, Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation reports. The deal will see the two companies share around 300 base stations for the next 15 years. ETK, which operates under the banner ‘yu’ has over 100 base stations in Nairobi and is planning to expand its network nationwide by the end of 2009. ETK is currently Kenya’s smallest wireless operator by subscribers with a 0.59% market share and is hoping that the collaboration with Zain will aid growth. Zain claimed over three million subscriptions at the end of December 2008, making it the country’s second largest mobile operator behind Safaricom. The deal will benefit Zain by cutting base station operational costs, as well as strengthening its network coverage in the nation’s capital.