France Telecom confirms plan for 500 000 new users

France Telecom on Friday confirmed earlier reports that the company was looking to boost its Kenya operations by adding some 500,000 new users to its network by the end of the year. The company also called on the regulator to double interconnect rates.

Telkom Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein (file image)

France Telecom CEO Mickael Ghossein said in a public statement published on Friday that Telkom Kenya was looking at some 3.3 million potential customers, or around 10 percent of the overall market share, from their current level of 2.8 million users.

He also called on Kenya’s telecom regulator to increase termination rates to $0.05 per minute in order for companies to recover costs incurred.

Ghossein continued to say that “it is good to protect the consumer, but it is also good to protect the investors.” It is unclear if the regulator will acquiesce to operators’ demands to increase prices.

The Kenyan Communications Commission reported that the number of mobile phone users in Kenya has risen to nearly 27 million through September, an increase of some two million from June. It also added that Safaricom has the lion’s share of the market at some 68 percent, followed by Airtel Kenya at 16 percent.

Joseph Mayton