Search This Blog

Monday, June 5, 2017


Orange, the third mobile operator in the country will change its brand name to simply Telkom tomorrow.

Previously known as Telkom Kenya and Telkom Orange, the formerly state owned landline operator will revert to the name Telkom after Private Equity Group Helios Partners bought the majority stake from France Telecom, the owners of Orange.

Helios made fame locally when they bought a 25% stake into then grassroots lender Equity Bank for Sh11billion in 2007, a stake it later sold for over Sh44billion exiting completely by August 2015.

In June 2016 it bought out the entire Orange stake in Telkom Kenya through its wholly owned subsidiary Jamhuri Holdings. The deal eventually saw it settle for 60% of the firm with the Government of Kenya retaining a 40% stake.

The new owners are said to have been working to put the right team in place and to fine tune strategy.

The telco is said to have quite a good network that has been underutilised and indications are that investments in a 4G have been made.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Safaricom is set to roll out 500,000 point of sale payment points in the country as it launches its tap and pay MPESA card in the country.

The innovation to be first launched in Nakuru will allow customers to merely tap, enter pin and pay at points of sale in shops, restaurants, supermarkets, petrol stations, bars and so on.

Banks that have been slow to issue card swiping machines to businesses will likely have to change strategy as Safaricom moves to tighten its grip on the payments industry especially with small merchants.

With Equity Bank and KCB refusing to play ball with Pesalink, the Kenya banking industry's payment switch, the technology has seen slow uptake giving Safaricom time to innovate and move to neutralize the threat.

The new payment option will use Near Field Communication to link the customer to the merchant's till.

The Lipa na MPESA service where the customer pays to a business using MPESA has been among the fastest growing segments of the payment service recording a 73 per cent rise in the six months to November 30, 2016.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Dominant telco, Safaricom, has caused major disruptions in communication in the country after experiencing problems in its Network Subsystem.

This is the system responsible for establishing calls and routing them within and to other networks.

The problem appeared to be with its Mobile Switching Center servers (MSC-S) a group of interconnected switching nodes that manage connections between subscribers or the interface through which calls are routed within the network using what is called the BICC protocol.

This would be what is called the Nc-interface where calls are transported within the core network and the widespread nature of the problem suggested that this is where the problem may lie.

So, while the radio network system is sending the requests for connection, and they are being received, the establishment of the required connections is not taking place as it should. It is not clear if this is due to a physical fault like a broken cable, or a software malfunction particularly in the case of any software updates.

Safaricom's Core Network Support Engineers are working to resolve the problem which has come at an inopportune time as political parties nominations continue across the country and constant need for communication with party headquarters to resolve crises is paramount.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Monopoly Power distributor Kenya Power has announced the exit of its CEO Dr. Ben Chumo with effect from Friday, 6th January.

Dr. Ken Tarus, the Finance Manager, will take over in acting capacity as MD and CEO.

Chumo has been at the helm of the utility since 2013 when he was appointed in acting capacity to replace Joseph Njoroge after the latter was appointed PS Energy.

Chumo was previously the Chief Manager, Human Resources.

Upon his confirmation several months later, he embarked on restructuring the organization which saw the retirement of several senior managers along with the exit of others who were did not fit with the new thinking.

Chumo has overseen the first phase of the last mile connectivity project as well as the signing of several PPAs with power producers.