Telecommunication Commission of Kenya (CCK) said that a US$ 25million fee paid by telecommunication firms acquiring a 3G license will continue despite resistance from some operators.
CCK is Kenya’s telecoms regulator.
One of Kenya’s operators, Telkom Kenya’s Orange mobile phone service provider, which is controlled by France Telecom, last year said that it was lobbying the government’s authorities to reduce the fee which the firm termed as ‘unreasonably high’ CCK said in a statement that the determined 3G license fee is $25 million for any operator who seeks that license.
This statement will further put the regulator and the operators at a collision cause, making this the worst new massage to the communications industry in Kenya.
“It is applicable equally across the board”, said CCK.
Telkom Kenya, operating under the Orange brand, began testing a 3G network in the capital Nairobi last month.
Third-generation services allow web access at broadband speeds that enable faster file downloads and email services.
In September last year, Orange said it saw its mobile users rising to 2 million by the end of 2009, up from 1.38 million users at the time.
Leading Kenyan mobile phone firm Safaricom acquired a 3G licence in 2007 after paying $25 million.
It has said any review of the fee should apply across the board. “When the 3G licence was advertised by the CCK, Safaricom was the only one that stepped up to the plate”, chief executive officer Michael Joseph told was reported saying in December last year.
Contacted, Joseph said he has no knowledge of fee reduction saying that, “If the license fee is to be reduced, and I don’t have any objection to that fee being reduced, we should therefore have the same treatment.”
Efforts to get comments from Orange’s Managing Director Miahael Ghossen were futile as it was reported that they are studying the new development for a comprehensive response.
by Brian Adero