The newly relaunched telco company aims to foray into mobile banking at a time when data and value-added services have gained importance as key earners of revenue in the telecoms market following the heavy erosion of voice market revenues.
Kenya’s telecommunications market continues to undergo considerable changes resulting from increased competition, improved international connectivity and rapid developments in the mobile market.
The new platform will emphasis on interoperability that allows users to send money and receive payments to/from mobile money platforms operated by competitors Safaricom (M-PESA) and Airtel (Airtel Money). Orange Money was launched in Kenya with basic services: cash-in and cash-out, airtime top-up, Orange bills payment. In addition, the service now includes water and electricity bill payment in most countries, and the possibility to access savings and insurance products.
However, Telkom has been among those who have cried foul over Safaricom’s dominance in the market. They hope that with interoperability they will be able provide convenience of sending money across mobile networks. “The telco sector in Kenya has recorded massive growth over the last two decades. However, there is need for scrutiny and consideration in the sector in order to ensure fair competition. How can investors get a return where a market is skewed? Said Chairman of the Board of Telkom Kenya Limited. Last year, Helios Investment Partners, acquired a 60 percent stake in Telkom and the Government of Kenya increased its stake from 30 percent to 40 percent.
“Since then, we have been on a journey to turn Telkom Kenya into a future fit organization, and to transform it into an innovative and successful Kenyan brand offering a full suite of services that cut across the Telco sector in the country,” said Aldo Mareuse, CEO Telkom Kenya during the launch of the new Telkom Brand.
With the launch of the new mobile money service, the company says it will be ‘a new, and truly exciting as well as improved platform’ that is disruptive and flexible in all means, particularly suited to the young digitally savvy generation and It will provide unique differentiators, enhanced usability and value through an open and collaborative approach. However, Telkom will face the challenge of having to grow a new customer base, including its current data and voice customers that have to rely on other mobile money platforms.
Third quarter sector statistics report for the financial year 2016/2017 (January -March) from the Communications Authority:
Telkom Kenya Limited market share dropped by 0.2 percentage points to register at 7.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent recorded during the previous quarter.
The total SMS traffic declined by 18.4 per cent during the quarter under review to stand at 61.2 million messages from 75.0 million messages recorded in the previous period.
Local voice traffic decreased by 3.1 per cent during the quarter under review to stand at 572.3 million minutes from 590.9 million minutes recorded during the preceding quarter.
Voice market share gained by 0.1 percentage points to stand at 5.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent attained during the preceding quarter.
David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government and society. He has been practicing Journalism since 2008. Environment, Agriculture Business, Health and Gender Development stories are his passion.David can be reached on: (020) 528 0222
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