Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile service provider will have to pay KSH 2.36 billion (USD27million) for operating license renewal which is to take them for 10 years, as their current 15 year license is set to expire on June 2014.
The communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) declared that the renewal will depend on the operator paying the renewal fee upfront and meeting the set minimum quality of service standards by June 2014.
The CCK Director General Francis Wangusi explained that the new license would come with a set of new license terms and conditions which will be negotiated between the regulator and the mobile operator.
“The license renewal fee of US$27 million is based on the bid price offered for the third GSM mobile license by the latest entrant to the mobile telecoms market in Kenya -Econet Wireless Kenya Ltd (now Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd),” said Mr. Wangusi.
Wangusi also said that while Safaricom has significantly contributed to the economy, developed innovative products and services and met most of its license obligations, the mobile operator needs to up its game with regards to meeting the set quality of service standards.
‘‘We have considered the fact that whereas Safaricom has met most of its license obligations, its continued failure to meet the set Quality of Service standards remains a concern that needs to be addressed,’’ said Wangusi.
He continued to say that the three other mobile operators would pay the same amount when renewing their licenses for a further term of 10 years to ensure parity and a level playing ground for all service providers in the sector.
At the same time, the Director General said the spectrum assigned to the four mobile operators will be subjected to an auction after the expiry of the 10-year renewal term.