Think tank wants Kenya's telecom giant compelled to share transmission infrastructure

IEA says the move will address the issue of mobile telco dominance

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) wants the telco giant to allot some of its infrastructure to other market players in the counties namely Garissa, Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Samburu, Wajir, and Isiolo.

Mr Owino argues that the move will address the market dominance by Safaricom which owns about 65 percent of transmission infrastructure.

Price controls

However, the policy think tank has warned that the proposed introduction of price regulation in the telecoms sector could disadvantage consumers and reverse gains made in the ICT sector.

“The proposals related to restrictions on tariff innovation, standardisation of all tariffs and reduction of schemes are inconsistent with promoting a competitive industry and would harm consumers,” IEA said in a report.

CA in February proposed specific restrictions on the variety of tariffs, schemes, and promotions in a bid to even the mobile telco playing field.

Both Airtel, the second largest operator, and Telkom, the third, welcomed proposals to regulate tariffs, but Safaricom warned that the move could be counterproductive as it could lead to an increase in calling rates.

IEA said the proposed retail interventions in the telecoms sector would inhibit innovation.

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