The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) has slashed regulatory fees charged for various services in the telecommunication and broadcasting industry in the country.
The regulator announced that the new charges effective from July 2012 are aimed at promoting penetration of telecommunication services in less developed parts of the country.
The move will also enable operators to deploy their services across the country and deepen use of information and communication technology services.
Mobile operators are the major beneficiaries who will see frequency fees for base transmitting stations and equipment used to transmit signals reduce by as much as 75%.
Francis Wangusi, CCK Acting Director General said the telecoms industry regulator would in future review the fees every three years to keep up with changing trends in the ICT sector. Under the new structure announced by Wangusi, frequency fees for mobile wireless access has been changed so that fees for the first 10,000 transmitters go down by 25%.
“The reduction will be increased to 50% for the next 30,000 transmitters and 75% for the remaining transmitters.
“Frequency fees for this category have gone down by an average 41%. This review is expected to give an incentive to operators to expand their networks.”
Wangusi said Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore welcomed the move.
“This is in line with the presidential directive and that of the ministry to reduce the barriers to bring down broadband prices,” said Collymore.
The commission has also introduced a new and simpler formula for broadcasting stations.
According to Wangusi, the new formula will eliminate the use of data that may not be readily available.
“The new formula has maintained the current frequency fees but has provided lower rates for community and public broadcasting services.
Frequency fees for this category has come down by 41% on average.
“This is expected to give an incentive to operators to expand their networks, improve quality of service and hence become more efficient in the use of the assigned spectrum.”
Wangusi said CCK reduced the initial licence fee for public postal companies to Sh1 million from the current Sh5 million (about US $50,000).
The regulator, however, introduced fees for different licences that are meant to deter speculators from acquiring licences that they then hoard, making them scarce and in turn selling them to highest bidders.
Under this category, approvals fees for radio broadcast transmitters for individual use will be charged Sh5, 000 (about US $48.9) down from Sh40, 000 (about US $391.5) currently and Sh20, 000 (about US $195.7) down from Sh40, 000 (about US $391.4) for transmitters that will be used for purposes of marketing.
Fees for television broadcast transmitters have also been reduced from Sh40, 000 to Sh5, 000 and Sh20, 000 depending on if it is for individual use or for marketing purposes respectively.