Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), formerly CCK has proposed new rules that would mandate the sharing of facilities by the country’s mobile networks; reason behind it, to strengthen the position of the smaller networks against the dominant Safaricom thus raising the bar on competition in the sector.
This will only happen after Airtel and Safaricom have settled their case, a case of Airtel wanting to bar Safaricom from demanding that its mobile money agents only offer Safaricom services.
Airtel wants mobile money agents to be able to offer services from a range of providers, including of course, itself. That would enable it to grow its distributor reach much quicker than if it has to sign up new agents in each town.
“What it will mean is that a customer in any part of the country will automatically use any network available, where their primary mobile services provider is unavailable.” the director-general Francis Wangusi said.
The regulator’s plans would cover mobile network infrastructure and services.
He did add that the agreements would be at commercial rates agreed between the networks, but there would presumably therefore have to be an arbitration process if the two companies cannot agree on prices.