24 February 2012
Kenya’s telecommunications and broadband market is undergoing a revolution following the arrival of three fibre optic international submarine cables (Seacom, TEAMS and EASSy), ending its dependency on limited and expensive satellite bandwidth. The country’s international bandwidth increased more than eleven-fold in 2011. Prices had already fallen significantly following the liberalisation of international gateway and national backbone network provision in 2005, but they have now fallen by more than 90%, enabling cheaper tariffs for telephone calls and broadband Internet services. However, ISPs have only reluctantly passed on the cost savings to end-customers, which has prompted the industry regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) to consider price caps. In parallel, the regulator has mandated price cuts on interconnection tariffs and proposed new competition regulations.
Companies that started out as ISPs – such as AccessKenya, Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and Wananchi – are transforming themselves into second-tier telecom companies by…
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