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Firm sues CA seeking to partner with telcos

CAKDAILY NATION By PAUL OGEMBA

Thursday November 12, 2015

A telecommunications firm owned by Kenyans living in the diaspora has sued the Communications Authority of Kenya for denying it a chance to partner with local telcos.

Geonet Communications Ltd’s suit brings a fresh dispute into the lucrative mobile money transfer and international voice calls, by sucking in local operators.

“The authority’s decision to deny the company a chance to operate in the local market was unfair and infringed on its rights to do business in a free and fairly regulated industry devoid of anti-competitive and restrictive trade practices,” said lawyer Kithinji Marete.

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Helios buys entire Orange stake in Telkom Kenya

telkom2BUSINESS DAILY By DAVID HERBLING,

Wednesday November 11, 2015

Private equity firm Helios Investment Partners is set to acquire the entire 70 per cent stake in Telkom Kenya held by France Telecom, a deal which gives the struggling telco the financial muscle to take on its rivals Safaricom and Airtel.

The transaction, whose value was undisclosed, will see the Treasury remain in Telkom Kenya with its minority stake of 30 per cent.

“The finalisation of the transaction remains subject to approval from the relevant authorities,” France Telecom, which trades as Orange, said in a statement.

The buyout brings to an end Orange’s long search for an investor to take over its interests in the company which has lost billions of shillings despite several capital injections and debt write-offs by its shareholders.

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Government pledges media freedom at UNESCO forum

kipsangDAILY NATION By CHARLOTTE DYETT AND FRED MUDHAI

Tuesday,November  10, 2015

A government official has told hundreds of delegates at a United Nations gathering that Kenya is committed to freedom of expression.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the country “promotes freedom of expression and free media and will continue to create (an) enabling environment for growth of broadcasting and media freedom”.

His sentiments on media freedom come in the wake of an uproar over the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill, one of whose provisions is aimed at restricting media coverage of Parliament.

Dr Kipsang was addressing delegates at a general policy debate of the 38th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

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Fresh hurdles in Sh3bn ICT roadmap worry World Bank

fred2SUNDAY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Sunday November 07,2015

The World Bank has identified lack of political goodwill and low ICT budgets as glaring setbacks in the implementation of a Sh3 billion ICT roadmap to strengthen county services.

In a statement this Tuesday, the World Bank said that as counties look to converge their processes digitally, lack of co-operation from top management and inadequate financing pose huge threats.

“There should be elaborate ICT organisational structures at county levels. The ICT Authority should come up with a plan for implementation and finance,” said the statement.

The World Bank funds county ICT projects through the Kenya Transparency and Communications Infrastructure Project (KTCIP), while the ICT Authority follows up on implementation.

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Telcos to pay more into ICT access fund for marginalised areas

TespokDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday November 05, 2015

Telecom firms will need to dig deeper into their pockets to fund a Sh100 billion programme aimed at providing ICT services in marginalised areas.

Canadian firm Intelecon Research and Consultancy Ltd, which is carrying out a new study on ICT access gaps on behalf of the Communications Authority (CA), said operators have so far contributed only Sh2.9 billion against the target.

The firm will deliver to the CA the results of the study by February 2016, when the programme is expected to be formally launched.

The study, which is benchmarked against best practices in Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan, will help the CA to implement the Universal Service Fund (USF) that aims to close the ICT access gap in the country.

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Rising threat of cyber-attacks puts companies on the edge

DAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Tuesday November 03, 2015

As you are read this, a local organisation’s internal system is being hacked.

Alarming statistics show that 30 companies suffer cyber-attack daily in Kenya. And what is even more worrying is that the devastation caused is unlikely to be detected until after 120 days.

The Kenya Cyber Security Report 2015 indicates that cybercrime is increasingly becoming a thorn in the flesh of economies as more companies embrace technology and online presence.

Companies, organisations and governments adopt technology to improve efficiency, cut costs and serve customers better.

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Stung by hackers, government moves to standardise ICT systems

fredSATURDAY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

SATURDAY OCTOBER 31, 2015

State agencies and ministries have been ordered to streamline their ICT systems with a view to check the rising cases of cybercrime.

A circular from the Office of the President demanding adherence by October 14 states that uncoordinated ICT systems have left the government vulnerable to cyber criminals, which saw businesses lose about Sh15 billion to hackers in 2014.

Cases of redundancy, wastage and difficulties in sharing government data are also to blame for the current lack of standards in State-run platforms.

“The ICT ministry shall develop and issue guidelines to framework contracting for purposes of managing price, quantity, quality and standards in acquisition of ICT equipment,” said the directive signed by Chief Of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

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Bill out to curtail regulator’s independence, warns Wangusi

wangusiDAILY NATION By OKUTTAH MARK,

Friday October 30,2015

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has warned that its independence is at stake following proposed changes to the law to limit its control of dominant telecom firms.

The changes are contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2015, which proposes alterations of a number of clauses in the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA), 1998.

Among the key changes are that the CA will be required to consult the Ministry of Information Cabinet Secretary (CS) before declaring a telecommunication or broadcasting services provider dominant.

This means that if the CS objects to the regulator’s ruling then no such declaration can be made.

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Kenya lost Sh15bn through cybercrime last year, report says

cyber-crimeDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday October 29, 2015

Kenyan firms lost Sh15 billion through cybercrime last year, with the public sector being the most affected, a new report says.

The amount lost has tripled since the previous year, raising questions about the country’s readiness to fight the menace.

The 2015 Cyber Security Report released on Wednesday noted that the public sector lost more than Sh5 billion from the attacks, followed by the financial services sector at Sh4 billion.

“At least 5,000 internet routers and CCTV cameras belonging to companies are accessible over the Internet, they are exposed to hackers because of the default factory settings,” the report revealed.

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Outdated university technology is harming learning and research

px3DAILY NATION By Jonh Walubengo

Tuesday October 27, 2015

As the government focuses all its attention on providing laptops to primary schools, similar attention and effort should be spared to address ICT gaps in our public universities.

Every five years, the Kenya Education Network (KENET) undertakes regular e-Readiness surveys of Kenyan public and private universities. Their most recent 2013 e-Readiness report shows that our universities have a long way to go in terms of embracing ICTs in their administration, teaching, learning and research.

It is unacceptable that in this day and age, lecturers are still using the ‘chalk and talk’ approach in their teaching.

It is also unbelievable that they are still submitting their student marks on foolscaps and therefore increasing, rather than reducing, incidents of lost or missing marks.

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Planned amendments bode ill for Communications Authority

CAKDAILY NATION By Jonh Walubengo

Wednesday October 21, 2015

There is a proposed bill, the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 164 of 2015 that proposes to move most of the communications regulatory powers to the Cabinet secretary. 

It is not clear why the Executive suddenly wants to become the regulator in a day and age when global practice seems to be to keep the two as separate as possible.

In seeking to understand the rationale, one needs to look at the 'Memorandum of Objects and Reason’ section, which states as follows:

‘The Bill seeks to amend the Kenya Information And Communications Act, 1998  section 2 of 1998) so as firstly to align it with the Competitions Act, 2014 in respect of the criteria for being a dominant market

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GeoNet to sue CA over interconnection fee row with mobile network operators

wangusiBUSINESS DAILY By  OKUTTAH MARK,

Thursday October 15, 2015

A US-based Kenyan telecommunication firm is preparing a legal action against the telecoms sector regulator for failing to resolve an interconnection fee dispute with the three local mobile network operators.

GeoNet, which was initially registered in Delaware USA in 2000, says through its local subsidiary that it is losing business because it is unable to use the licence it was granted by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) due to the three-year interconnection fee dispute with Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya.

The firm, which operates several licences, including an international gateway service (IGS) provider, says it has paid the CA more than Sh32 million in IGS fees alone but has not been able to use the licence because of the stalemate.

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Laptops for schools revived

DnLAPTOPs1204rdpxDAILY NATION By ISAAC ONGIRI

Wednesday October 14, 2015

Sh 17 billion will be spent to buy to 1.2 million laptops for Class One pupils after the salvaged procurement was launched by the Information Communication Technology Authority.

The laptops will reach all schools around the country in two years after the procurement was split into two.

Some 25 companies including several local learning institutions are competing to win the multi-billion tender that has been delayed following a dispute over a tender won by an Indian Company, Olive Telecom, in 2014.

The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology through the ICT board reduced stringent requirements, previously placed by the Ministry of Education that required that the winner of the bid to be an original equipment manufacturer. This allowed secondary suppliers to compete for the bid.

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Regulator to block unregistered phone lines in 90 days

SIMCardpxBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday, October 12  2015

Thousands of mobile phone subscribers with unregistered SIM cards will be blocked from the telecoms’ networks in the next 90 days as the regulator moves to enforce new rules meant to clear the system of criminals.

The planned switch-off comes in the wake of the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) publication of new regulations that are intended to complement the SIM card registration laws that were passed two years ago.

The Kenya Information and Communication Act, 2013 requires telecommunication operators to register their subscribers within a specified period and keep their details.

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Ministry to help local investors raise funds for Konza projects

KonzapxDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Friday October 09 2015

Investors interested in setting up at the Konza City have been asked to submit bids for development of 24 parcels of land, as government pledges support for locals.

Speaking at the Konza investor briefing, ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said interested local investors who face financial shortfalls would get government support.

“Together with the National Treasury, I am working on a Public Private Partnership framework that will see government source for funds to support local investors,” said Dr Matiang’i.

The Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) will rely on Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to attract investors who will construct commercial, residential, educational and public amenities within the demarcated land.

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CA orders fresh allowances audit as Matiang'i declines to intervene

Wangusi3DAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Wednesday October 07,2015

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i will not meddle in internal troubles of Communications Authority, ruling out government’s interventions amid a deepening crisis at the authority’s board.

Dr Matiang’i said at a media briefing that the CA is an independent body: “I want to let the institution deal with their issues as an independent body. When my role will be required, I will play my role.”

CA board has recently faced serious criticism after an internal report revealed that senior executives spent Sh307 million on travel allowances last year.

The report came at a time when the board members are facing several court cases questioning their legality. The office of the ombudsman is also investigating irregular issuance of allowances at the board.

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United Nations report lauds Kenya's broadband plan

uhuru-picDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Tuesday October 06, 2015

A United Nations global report has heaped praise on Kenya's broadband plan for being up to date with current developments in the ICT industry.

The UN Global Commission’s report, ‘The State Of Broadband 2015,’ states that Kenya has consistently signalled national commitment to the broadband plan across policy makers and stakeholders.

EFFECTIVE ICT PLAN

The report points out that a good plan includes consideration of infrastructure deployment and telecommunications key performance indicators.

The Kenya National ICT Master Plan which has set targets to be realised by 2017 has the mentioned considerations.

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India to train 150 Kenyan ICT officers

Bd-ICT internetDAILY NATION By LILIAN OCHIENG

Thursday October 01, 2015

Over 150 government ICT officers will be trained in India in a move intended to improve Kenya’s capacity in the information technology sector.

The deal was announced during the India-Kenya ICT forum on Monday that was attended by 50 Indian ICT companies.

The firms are looking to partner with local technology firms.

“Indian companies are now using innovation, development research to create world class products. Kenya is looking to copy this trend and imprint it in its government operations,” said Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on behalf of his counterpart Dr Fred Matiang'i, who is in New York for the 70th Session of United Nations General Assembly.

Kenya is looking to deepen its ties with India especially by increasing its knowledge on spectrum auctions, net neutrality, e-citizen services and training in the sector.

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US-based SMEs to acquire space at Konza City

KonzapxDAILY NATION By WINFRED KURIA

Wednesday September 30, 2015

Konza Tech City has opened business to international markets in a partnership with National Business League, an American business lobby.

Through the agreement, US-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) stand to acquire operational space at Konza City.

Further, the US SMEs will enable local ones to acquire development opportunities through export promotion, joint ventures, strategy alliance and direct investment.

Konza City is expected to be Africa’s Silicon Savannah, contributing $1 billion annually (approximately two per cent) to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) once phase one is operational.

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CA moves to hire market dominance consultant

WangusiCAKBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday September 28, 2015

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has begun the process of hiring an international firm that will examine Kenya’s telecommunication and broadcasting sectors for market dominance and anti-competitive behaviour.

The CA says in Expression of Interest tender documents seen by the Business Daily that the consultant will, among other things, identify the relevant markets (sub-markets) within the telecommunication sub-sector, the number of players and their respective market shares.

The tender documents are set for publication on the Treasury’s Integrated Financial Management Information System supplier portal and the CA’s website.

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