LTE spectrum policy almost ready for public scrutiny

20 Mar 2014

Fred Matiang’i, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for ICT, has revealed that the development of a new 4G LTE spectrum policy has been completed, and will soon be available for public comment. Mr Matiang’i told journalists that the document will be presented to the cabinet for approval following a stakeholders’ meeting, before being opened up to the public.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, an ‘open access’ LTE project, backed by Kenya’s major telcos and a number of prominent international vendors, was first mooted in November 2010, only to run into complications regarding both local ownership obligations and spectrum usage. In 2012 market leader by subscribers Safaricom threatened to walk away from the project unless its demand to utilise 700MHz spectrum was acquiesced to, and the project effectively ground to a halt.

TeleGeography notes that the Kenyan wireless market is currently in a state of flux; earlier this month, the country’s third-largest mobile operator, Essar Telecom (yu), sought approval from the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) to sell its infrastructure and subscribers to rivals Safaricom and Airtel, respectively. Not long after, France’s Orange Group admitted that it was evaluating the future of its struggling Telkom Kenya unit.