Telkom to test 3G services

7 Dec 2009

Telkom Kenya (Orange) has announced that it will conduct a series of 3G trials across its mobile network as it looks to enter Kenya’s fast-growing mobile data market, Business Daily Africa reports. Mickael Ghossein, Telkom Kenya CEO, said: ‘This is a major strategic shift in our revenue model. 3G presents the opportunity to achieve fast growth for our mobile business.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Telkom ended September 2009 with 772,000 mobile customers, up from 697,000 a year earlier, and the company intends to build on this growth by investing in the burgeoning data market. With the arrival of submarine cable systems, such as SEACOM and TEAMS, boosting network capacity and bandwidth availability, the demand for data services in Kenya is growing and the country’s cellcos are keen to capitalise. Rival operator Safaricom was first to roll out 3G services, obtaining a licence in October 2007, and launching W-CDMA-based services in 2008. The firm was seeking a means to explore new revenue streams as profits from its voice business started to fall due to competition. Safaricom said its data revenues had increased by 93.6% over the year ended 30 September 2009, with internet representing 17.7% of its revenues. In October 2009 Zain Kenya followed suit, purchasing its own USD25 million (KES1.8 billion) 3G concession in preparation for a network rollout.