Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Orange Kenya Hits 1 Million Subscribers, Targets 20% Market Share

Telkom Kenya's Orange mobile phone service is targeting a 20 percent market share in one year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Majority owned by France Telecom, Telkom launched the service in September to challenge market leader Safaricom and Kuwait listed Zain.
"Our target in the coming year, in mobile, is market share of 20 percent. One million represents probably a third of it," Dominic Saint-Jean told reporters after announcing Orange had attained one million subscribers in eight months.
Of the one million subscribers, slightly over 700,000 are active users, he said. Safaricom has a 77 percent market share.  Telkom is investing 8 billion shillings ($102.3 million) this year in its businesses that include Orange, CDMA and fixed line networks, as well as data services.
Saint-Jean said the firm has also invested in undersea cables like The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS)
Along with two other cables, TEAMS is expected to connect Kenya from next month, unleashing a broadband revolution in a region where telecoms have already had a huge impact on life.
Mobile operators already provide a wide range of services including money transfer and wireless Internet on 3G platforms.
Industry executives expect increased broadband capacity to be the next big thing in east Africa's biggest economy, and are positioning their firms for a slice of the data market.
Saint-Jean said the telecoms sector in Kenya was well developed, but he added that the government has the scope to look into taxes and other regulations to boost the industry. "You never sleep on your laurels ... if we maintain the fiscal equation, it is a limitation. Other barriers are in calls between networks," he said.
Kenya has a fourth mobile phone service, Yu, which is operated by Econet Wireless.

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