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Puzzle of CA’s conflicting data on quality of telcos’ services

CAKBusiness Daily By MUTHOKI MUMO

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018 

The communications sector regulator has released conflicting data on the quality of telecoms services, raising questions about the integrity and reliability of its statistics.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) last week released its Quality of Service (QoS) report for the year ended June 2016, contradicting data in its 2015/16 annual report covering the same period and subject matter.

The net effect of the differences is that scores for all the operators improved significantly.

While the CA in its annual report said Safaricom , Airtel and Telkom Kenya had scored an overall 50 per cent in QoS, the latest data shows the three telcos had an average score of 70.8 per cent.

In both reports, the operators failed to meet the overall pass mark of 80 per cent.

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Video-on-demand spurs rise in fibre Internet users

Fibre-opticDAILY NATION By MUTHOKI MUMO

Monday January 8, 2018

Fibre-optic Internet subscriptions nearly tripled in the year through last September, reflecting the aggressive investments in expanding connections to Kenyan homes.

Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows that there were 90,534 fibre subscriptions at the end of September in comparison to the 33,269 recorded at the end of September 2016.

While this figure is comprehensive of both fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-office, there has been a flurry of activity over the last one year as companies compete to connect residential properties.

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Key ICT influencers for 2018

ICTDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday January 3, 2018

The year 2017 is over and done with. I often review the key ICT events of the previous year but this time I want to flip this around and instead highlight key global events that will shape the local Kenyan ICT scene in 2018.

One such event happened last month when the US communication regulator, the Federal Communication Commission, revoked what is known as Net Neutrality rules instituted during the Obama administration.

Proponents of Net Neutrality advance the view that the internet should remain open, non-discriminatory and decentralised.

In other words, all internet traffic should be treated equally and so telco providers or ISPs should not discriminate or filter user traffic based on source, content or destination.

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CA loses Sh2bn licence row with Airtel

CAKDAILY NATION By ABIUD OCHIENG

Tuesday December 19, 2017

Telecoms operator Airtel Kenya Monday got a big boost in its battles with the regulator after the court stopped the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) from demanding Sh2.06 billion in licence renewal fees.

High Court judge George Odunga also stopped the CA from enforcing a decision it made and communicated to Airtel demanding  $20.025 million (Sh2.06 billion) from the Indian firm as a precondition to the issuance of Airtel’s radio frequency spectrum and operating licences.

“An order is hereby issued quashing the CA’s decision contained in the letter dated June 23, and July 25, 2017 demanding the sum of $20.025 million (Sh2.06 billion) from Airtel as alleged radio frequency spectrum fees within 14 days from the date of receipt,” Justice Odunga said.

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Safaricom bets on voice identity to rein in fraud

mpesaDAILY NATION By ANNIE NJANJA

Tuesday December 12, 2017

Listed telco Safaricom #ticker:SCOM has introduced voice biometric system aimed at reducing fraud and helping its customers to reduce cases of identity theft.

The system, dubbed Jitambulishe, will allow customers to access Safaricom services such as resetting M-Pesa PIN and PUK requests through a faster and less intrusive vetting process.

The system aims to cut down the number of steps a customer goes through before they are assisted, significantly reducing time spent while seeking customer services.

 A pre-recorded registration process will be done by the telco to make the feature functional.

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‘Digital natives’ to lead in the next boom

e-paymentDAILY NATION By TONNY TUGEE

Wednesday November 29, 2017

Information and communications technology is driving an entrepreneurial boom in Kenya, and it is youth at the forefront of creating new businesses.

Young entrepreneurs such as Jacob Otieno, the founder of Tablets for Schools, and Danson Muchemi, the founder of Jambopay, are some of the emerging trailblazers in this vibrant space.

But it is the concerted government and private sector push to build telecoms infrastructure and digital services that is helping to catalyse the trend.

The Communication Authority of Kenya’s (CA) latest statistics place the country’s Internet penetration at 90 per cent or 43.3 million users as at the end of June this year, compared to 37.7 million the previous year.

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CA opts for phased phone services quality test plan

CAKBUSINESS DAILY By MUTHOKI MUMO

Tuesday November 21, 2017

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) will implement new standards of measuring the quality of mobile phone services in phases following a request from operators.

The CA has published a new framework, which expands the authority’s powers by requiring operators to submit data on network performance more regularly, assessing the quality SMS and Internet services in addition to voice, and taking the views of customers into consideration.

While the framework is supposed to take effect in the 2017/18 financial year, the CA says assessing network performance and surveys to measure customer experience will be delayed.

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Huduma savouring glory for easing public service delivery MONDAY NOVEMBER 6 2017

Huduma2107aDAILY NATION By SICILY KARIUKI

Monday November 6, 2017

Huduma Mobile Outreach Programme, popularly known as Huduma Mashinani, has been nominated for an international award by the African Association for Public Administration and Management.

Whether it brings home the overall trophy as it has done in the past or not, this is a demonstration of the determination to ensure best practices locally and internationally.

To sustain its leadership in public service provision, Huduma Kenya Programme must continuously innovate.

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Nakuru minister nominee prioritises Wi-Fi, school lunch

naksphotopixDAILY NATION By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Tuesday October 31, 2017

Former Chief of Staff at the Nakuru County Government, Raymond Kimutai Komen, has promised to revamp the controversial Sh200 million Nakuru Wi-Fi if he is appointed the ICT County Executive Committee member.

The free Wi-Fi, known as BilaWaya, is active in selected hotspots in Nakuru Town was a project of the presidential digital team in collaboration with the county government.

PASSION

However, there was a huge outcry from the residents who called it a "white elephant" project that gobbled public funds.

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Konza City tech goal must survive election cycles

KonzapxDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday October 18, 2017

It’s been a whole year of politics, with no guarantee that October 26 will settle and bring the political contentions to its logical conclusion.

So, rather than put our lives on hold, we must learn to multi-task. In other words, we let the politicians do their job while we do ours.

Government must continue driving the ICT sector without losing momentum.   Of course some may argue in favour of putting the Jubilee administration ICT agenda on hold, until after the elections or when the prevailing political questions are settled.

However, there is a bigger argument about the country’s ICT agenda that would override any administrations agenda – irrespective of whether that administration is Jubilee, Nasa or the Thirdway Alliance. That bigger argument is defined in the Vision2030 documents. 

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Don’t fear cloud computing. You already use it

cloudcomputingDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

TUESDAY OCTOBER 10 2017

The recent presidential petition brought technology right to the centre of the average Kenyan’s life.

Whereas, previously, we covered the technical jargon that was floated during the petition, we left out one important term that remains relevant beyond petitions and elections – cloud computing.

Some of the IEBC election data was ‘in the cloud’ and so we were told access to it was a bit complicated due to the technical teams being asleep.

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Wafula Chebukati outlines tough demands on OT-Morpho

IEBCdatapicDAILY NATION By JUSTUS WANGA

Monday October 02, 2017

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has outlined tough new measures to technology company OT-Morpho after signing a new contract on Thursday to manage results transmission in the October 26 presidential election.

Classified documents leaked to the Nation by sources at OT-Morpho reveal IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati’s raft of ultimatums and terms of reference to the firm’s vice president and general manager, Africa and Middle East, Olivier Charlanes insisting that the reason the presidential polls were annulled was because of system failure he partly blames on them.

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Communications Authority dismisses Nasa claims

wangusiCITDAILY NATION By KENNEDY KIMANTHI

September, Wednesday 27, 2017

The Communications Authority of Kenya has said no cases of election result transmission failures were reported to them during the August 8 election.

Director-General Francis Wangusi said in a statement that the authority had directed mobile operators contracted to support the transmission of systems of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to report any transmission hitches.

Nasa leader Raila Odinga has accused Safaricom of working with a French digital security firm to tilt the August 8 elections outcome in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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iHub buyout raises Nairobi status as Africa tech capital

ihubBusiness Daily By A Reporter

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

iHub Limited, a company that runs an innovations incubation laboratory for techies, has been acquired by venture capital firm BSP Fund LLC for an undisclosed sum.

BSP Fund LLC, associated with controversial investor Miguel Granier, is also acquiring majority stake in Gearbox, a company that provides equipment and space for developers of hardware and electronics.

Mr Erik Hersman, one of the former shareholders of I-Hub, in an interview Wednesday said the transaction has been completed.

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Why IEBC boss Chebukati wants three ICT officers out

IEBCdatapicDAILY NATION By IBRAHIM ORUKO

Tuesday September 19, 2017

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati wants three officers in the ICT directorate suspended in what he described as necessary action to restore waning public confidence in the commission’s ability to prepare and deliver a credible repeat presidential poll.

In a leaked internal memo on Tuesday, Mr Chebukati directed the chief executive Ezra Chiloba to suspend ICT director James Muhati, ICT coordinator Paul Mugo and ICT officer Boniface Wamae as the turf wars between the commission and secretariat arising from the nullification of the August 8 presidential election went a notch higher.

INTERFERENCE
The trio managed the commission’s Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) platform in the General Election and the chairman says they fell short in assisting the commission to successfully discharge its collegial and constitutional mandate.

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Declaring the IEBC technology committee unconstitutional was clearly a mistake

CHILOBADAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday September 13, 2017

The recent, widely circulated 12-point memo from the Chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Wafula Chebukati to his CEO, Mr Ezra Chiloba got me wondering about some critical committee that was provided for by the Elections Amendment Act No 36 of 2016. It amends the Elections Act , 2011 Section 44, paragraph (5) to read in part:

‘The Commission shall, for purposes of this section and in consultation with relevant agencies, institutions and stakeholders, including political parties, make regulations for the implementation of this section and in particular, regulations providing for

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E-passport to replace current one by 2019

kIHALANGWADAILY NATION By STELLA CHERONO

Friday September 01, 2017

The current Kenyan passports will be rendered obsolete in two years.

Kenyans have therefore been asked to apply for an e-passport that was launched by the immigration department on Thursday.

The Immigration Department will start processing and issuing the new passport, which also serves as the East African Community passport, starting September 1.

“The Immigration Department will no longer process and issue the current ordinary, diplomatic and East African passports,” Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa said during the launch.

The passport will have electronic chip with the owner's details.

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Report: IEBC delayed in giving court experts access to its servers

iebcpicDAILY NATION By JOHN NGIRACHU 

THURSDAY AUGUST 31 2017

The electoral agency delayed to give access to its servers to court appointed information technology experts for nearly two days, a report says.

The Supreme Court ordered that IEBC provide access on Monday morning but it was not until 5.30pm on Tuesday that the read-only live access was provided.

The report was signed by ICT experts Prof Elijah Omwenga, Prof Joseph Sevilla who were appointed by the court and Janet Kadenyi, who works for the Judiciary.

It says IEBC attributed the delays to a number of reasons, including the setting up of the Virtual Private Network tunnel to the server, connectivity with the cloud and protection measures that had to be upheld as the election period was still on.

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Edward Mwasi is the new Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board CEO

mwasiDAILY NATION By LEOPOLD OBI

FRIDAY AUGUST 18 2017

Publishing expert Edward Mwasi has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru appointed Mr Mwasi for a three-year term through a gazette notice dated July 26.

YEARBOOK

Mr Mwasi, a former Nation Media Group Chief Graphic Designer, will also be in charge of producing the Kenya Yearbook and other publications as mandated by the government.

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Telco infrastructure sharing not feasible, says association

DNNYERICOMMUNICATION1205pxDAILY NATION By BRIAN NGUGI

Tuesday August 15, 2017

A global association of mobile operators has cast doubt on the benefits of sharing infrastructure among telecoms players.

Kenya’s telecoms regulator has been pushing for shared infrastructure among the local players arguing this would heighten competition by reducing costs of deploying new network and see more frontier areas covered.

But the GSM Association — a global lobby for mobile operators — says in a new report that compelling telecom players inhibits effective competition.

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