Industry News Page | Telecoms Chamber

Airtel Moves Step Closer to Sealing Telkom Kenya Buy

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) approved Airtel Kenya’s acquisition of rival operator Telkom Kenya, a move which would step up competition against market leader Safaricom.

CAK director general Wang’ombe Kariuki outlined conditions for the acquisition in The Kenya Gazette, the government’s official publication, stating Airtel Kenya cannot sell the merged entity for the next five years and must fulfil all existing contracts with government entities.

In a move to safeguard jobs, CAK demanded 349 of Telkom Kenya’s 674 employees be retained after the acquisition. Two-thirds must be employed for a minimum of two years, with the rest to be absorbed by network partners. Telkom Kenya stated in August it would make 575 of its staff redundant as a result of the acquisition.

One last hurdle for the merger is an investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, which already delayed the process.

Prior to the probe, a committee in Kenya’s National Assembly said the deal had “all the hallmarks of a scandal” noting it enabled private individuals to acquire a public company “through the backdoor for a song”.

The merger of the second- and third-largest operators in Kenya was announced in February: the new company would be called Airtel-Telkom.


Twitter Chief Calls for Social Media Overhaul


Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed plans to establish an independent team to create a standard all social media companies could use to tackle harmful speech and posts, at a time of growing concern over misuse of the platforms.

In a series of tweets, the executive said the company would fund a five-person group to create rules similar to the SMTP protocol for email, with the goal of enabling multiple social media platforms to filter and block specific types of content.

The team will be named Bluesky, which will initially be helmed by Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal.

Dorsey said there is a need for social media to change the way content is handled, noting current set-ups focus too heavily on “conversation that sparks controversy and outrage” instead of messages promoting health.

In Twitter’s case, such an approach would enable it to “access and contribute to a much larger corpus of public conversation”, while also forcing it to be “far more innovative than in the past”.


MTN Business on Track to Launch Mobile Network in Namibia

MTN Business Namibia, a provider of connectivity solutions, remains committed to transforming its business in the country to offer mobile services. It’s been two and a half years since the company was engaged in this operation.

In order to calm the potential concerns of its partners, it wanted to inform them of the progress of the process. A meeting was organized for this purpose this week by Elia Tsouros, General Manager of MTN Business Namibia.

“It’s been two and a half years since planning continues. We have recently changed our strategy for greater control on our part. With additional CAPEX, we ensure customers the best possible experience. We will have a device with our own channels and we will also be franchising certain stores, but we have a comprehensive market strategy that serves both prepaid and postpaid services. We will ensure that by the time we get to the market everything is in place and that we can provide a service that Namibia will be proud of, “ said Elia Tsouros.

As a prelude to its entry into the mobile segment, MTN Business Namibia, which claims to have already received all regulatory approvals from the Namibian telecom market, also announces that it has also rolled out its LTE (4G) service on the coast and in Windhoek. .

“We have deployed two additional sites in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. We are deploying two additional sites in northern Namibia and we are going to expand in Swakopmund with additional infrastructure because of success in this region, and this is only this year. We will have 14 sites by the end of the year and we will continue deploying additional sites next year. For a company that had no infrastructure eight months ago, we will continue to invest in our own infrastructure and this will benefit all of Namibia, “ said Elia Tsouros.

Source: Agence Ecofin


Vodafone Supports Best Farmer Awardees with GH¢15,000

Vodafone Ghana has congratulated Madam Philomena Tengey, the National Best Female Farmer, and Boris Baidoo, the Best National Digital Farmer, at the 2019 National Farmers’ Day celebrations.

As part of the telco’s support for this year’s celebrations, the two farmers were each presented with a cash amount of GH¢15,000, smart phones and Vodafone Farmers’ Club SIMs.

Additionally, they received airtime and data for 12 months, as well as free access to farmers’ helpline and useful information on crop and agriculture.

Commenting, Tawa Bolarin, Director of Enterprise Business Unit at Vodafone Ghana said: "Congratulations to all our farmers who serve as the lifelines of the economy; producing the crops and items that have defined Ghana and its exporting prowess. Our commitment is to empower females and promote digitalization in agriculture. We believe that driving innovation in agriculture will bridge the gap between farmers and critical farming information. Through our Farmers’ Club initiative, we will continue to connect farms, agribusinesses and rural communities to drive productivity, profitability and innovation."

Vodafone also presented GH¢10,000 cash, to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) ahead of this year’s National Farmers’ Day event. All the winners at this year’s event also received Vodafone Farmers’ Club SIMs and smart phones in line with the telco’s unwavering commitment to promoting agricultural in Ghana.

This year, Vodafone extended its support to the Best Digital Farmer, in fulfillment of a promise made last year, to celebrate farmers who among other things use innovative and new technology in their operations.

The 35th edition of the National Farmers Day celebration was held in the Volta Region.