Safaricom

Essar exits telecoms with yuMobile sale to Safaricom, Airtel

India-based investment group Essar has completed the sale of its Kenyan mobile operator yuMobile, officially known as Telekom Kenya Limited (ETKL), marking the firm’s exit from the telecoms business. Fellow Kenyan operator Safaricom acquired yuMobile’s network, IT and office infrastructure assets, while Airtel has taken over its 2.55 million subscribers.

Essar sells Kenyan operation yuMobile

Investment fund Essar Group has reached an agreement to offload its Kenyan telecom business to African carriers Safaricom and Airtel for $120m.

Bitcoin mobile wallet launches in Kenya

Kenya has long been considered a pioneer of mobile money services, given the successful mobile payment system M-Pesa made its debut in the market. Now a recently launched project aims to combine M-Pesa with another pioneering currency technology, Bitcoin.

M-Pesa mobile money service enhanced in Kenya

Already staking a claim to be the one of the most effective mobile money success stories to have graced the telecoms industry, Kenya’s M-Pesa service has now been extended to allow consumers access to interest-bearing saving accounts and the ability to take out small loans.

Safaricom threatens to pull out of LTE venture

Kenya’s Safaricom has said it will pull out of a joint venture to build an LTE network in the county if it is forced by its government to use the 2.6GHz frequency band. The company has pointed out that the 2.6GHz frequency band will make it be prohibitively expensive to build out an LTE network across the country, due to its limited range. Safaricom is instead seeking assurances that it will be able to use 700MHz, which requires far fewer base stations and has higher in building penetration capabilities.

Safaricom calls in the lawyers over MNP spat with Airtel

The war of words between Kenyan operators Bharti Airtel and Zain and the company enlisted to manage the market’s recently introduced mobile number portability (MNP) programme, Porting Access, has escalated to the legal domain. In a statement issued Tuesday, Safaricom’s director of corporate affairs, Nzioka Waita, said the firm is suing Porting Access, along with spokesman Patrick Musimba, for defamation.

Airtel and Safaricom clash over MNP

An increasingly bitter war between Kenyan operators Safaricom and Airtel has spilled into the country’s mobile number portability (MNP) space. Barely two weeks after the country introduced MNP, a war of words has broken out between the two telcos, with each accusing the other of sabotage and the use of nefarious tactics to prevent subscribers from switching providers.

Orange Kenya partners with ZTE for 3G rollout

Orange will partner with ZTE to roll out its 3G network in Kenya. The investment, valued at €33m, will see Orange launching services in the first half of this year as part of the telco’s drive to double its subscriber base to more than 4.5 million in 2011. Orange is currently the third-largest operator in Kenya, well behind market leader Safaricom, which claims a massive 77 per cent share of the market through its almost 17 million subscribers and is currently the only commercial 3G service provider in that country.

Safaricom takes M-Pesa to retailers

Kenyan operator Safaricom has partnered with retail chains Uchumi Supermarkets and Naivas, in order to give M-Pesa subscribers the ability to use the service to purchase goods in the stores.

Betty Mwangi-Thuo, chief new products officer, Safaricom

One of three women on Kenyan operator Safaricom’s 12-strong senior management team, Betty Mwangi-Thuo is chief officer for new products. She oversees the firm’s value added service department, as well as all of its projects that intersect with the GSM Association.

Safaricom IPO kicks off

East Africa’s biggest ever initial public offering (IPO) kicked off on Monday, as Kenyan operator Safaricom began trading on the Nairobi stock exchange. The government’s sale of a 25 per cent stake in the carrier has proved popular, with the listing more than 400 per cent oversubscribed. Local reports suggest around 800,000 domestic and foreign […]

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