15 May Kenyan regulator clarifies Jamii 700MHz licence award
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has responded to reports that it had improperly awarded a coveted 700MHz mobile licence to Jamii Telecommunications by clarifying that the permit is not a full operating concession, but rather allows for the rollout of a one-year trial network. Daily Nation quotes the Communications Authority’s (CA’s) chairman Ngene Gituku as saying that Jamii was granted a licence to trial a mobile network utilising 700MHz spectrum in September last year, and refuted allegations that the licence had been issued irregularly. ‘Contrary to what appeared in the media today, the Authority wishes to clarify that no money has been lost in the authorisation given to Jamii Telecommunications,’ the chairman said.
For his part, Jamii’s chairman Joshua Chepkwony said the firm had followed CA processes in applying for the licence and pointed out that other telecoms firms have previously trialled new frequencies without paying licence fees. He added that Jamii expects to launch commercial trials this quarter and had already invested KES5.1 billion (USD48 million) in network infrastructure, stating that at the end of the trial period the firm plans to pay KES2.5 billion in compliance with its agreement with the CA.