Kenya to introduce SMP regulations for telecoms sector

21 Aug 2015

Kenya’s Communications Authority is set to introduce new regulations to prevent large telecoms operators from abusing their dominant position in the sector, but has denied claims that the rules are targeted at mobile market leader Safaricom. Reuters reports that the amendments to the sector’s competition law will give the regulator more powers to declare a firm to be dominant, a step that could lead to penalties if it is determined that an operator was abusing its position in the market.

According to Francis Wangusi, the director general of Communications Authority, a consultant will be hired to carry out a study of the telecoms, postal and broadcast markets, but said it could take up to 18 months to determine if any player was dominant – defined as having more than a 50% share of a market segment. He denied media reports that the regulations were targeted at mobile market leader Safaricom, which is 40%-owned by UK’s Vodafone Group and which held a 68.4% share of Kenya’s 34.13 million wireless customers at end-March 2015. Wangusi said the new regulations would further break down the telecoms sectors into segments, including mobile and fixed voice, data, text messaging and mobile money transfer services.