Kenyan regulator denies ‘gifting’ 4G licence to Jamii Telecom

Kenyan regulator denies ‘gifting’ 4G licence to Jamii Telecom

The Communications Authority of Kenya has hit back at accusations that it issued a 4G licence to Jamii Telecom for an extremely low rate.

The regulator is alleged to have accepted KES100,000 (US$970) for a 4G licence worth KES2.5 billion ($24 million). Jamii, which provides carrier infrastructure and corporate data transfer services, would also have been required to pay a further KES2.5 billion in fees which the regulator has not collected.

After national media brought the story to prominence, the regulator stated at a press conference that “no money had been lost”, claiming that Jamii Telecom was provided with a trial licence that was only valid for one year. Communications Authority chairman Ngene Gituku noted that the regulator would hold an emergency board meeting to address the issue before disclosing any more information.

The newspaper reported that the Communications Authority’s director general Francis Wangusi had queried the decision, demanding to know why the 700MHz licence was not being put to auction.

Responding to accusations by The Daily Nation that it had been “gifted” a licence by the regulator, Jamii Telecom took out a newspaper advertisement stating that it paid all necessary fees. It additionally claimed that the allegations were being made by Kenya’s market leading wireless operators, who were merely “keen on protecting their monopolistic dominance”.

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