MTN enters Kenyan broadband market after two year wait

28 Oct 2010

South African telecoms giant MTN has formally announced its presence in the Kenyan broadband market, two years after acquiring a 60% stake in ailing corporate operator UUNet. The re-branding of UUNet to MTN Business Kenya looks set to renew rivalry in the corporate data market, a marketplace in which UUNet’s fortunes have declined drastically in recent years. Internet service providers AccessKenya and Kenya Data Networks have absorbed much of UUNet’s corporate business since 2008, whilst wireless operators Telkom Kenya and Safaricom have both embraced the relatively untapped residential broadband market in a bid to offset declining wireless revenues. Tom Omariba, managing director of MTN Business Kenya commented: ‘An array of key structures and network transitions has been implemented to deliver standardised service and seamless integration for customers culminating in the official name-change, MTN Business Kenya’. Dismissing speculation that MTN would try to insinuate itself into the residential market, Omariba continued: ‘You cannot be everything to all customers. We have to look at our strengths and choose which area we can serve. If you try and serve both markets, you will suffer … that is the experience elsewhere’. MTN Business Kenya’s strategy is expected to involve a substantial cash injection, as well as providing the necessary technical expertise to strengthen its data business and grow its meagre corporate subscriber base, which MTN reported has dwindled to just 700 customers.

Kenya, MTN Group