Friday, 26 September 2008

Orange makes entry into East African markets

It has now been confirmed by the East African newspaper that France Telecom one of the world's leading players in the telecoms sector will use Kenya as the launchpad for its operations in East Africa.

France Telecom through Orange purchased a majority stake of 51% in Telkom Kenya which makes it one of the three largest telcos in Kenya, the others being market leader Safaricom and newly christened Zain (formerly Celtel). Orange launched its mobile service last week, having hitherto focused mainly on fixed telephony under the Telkom Kenya brand.

Whereas a new player of the France telecom kind will definately help deflate prices for mobile services, it is unclear to what extent the provision of data services will be positively impacted in Kenya and the region at large. Hopefully, the entry of Orange in Kenya will lead to downward pressure on the price of telecom services in the region generally, as well as better service delivery and innovation.

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