Telco wars: Don’t punish us for our success, Safaricom tells CA

Telco wars: Don't punish us for our success, Safaricom tells CA

Regulatory measures by the Communications Authority to force Safaricom to share its infrastructure with rivals encourage laziness and amounts to punishing success.

Safaricom Chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a said on Friday the telco’s dominance in the market is as a result of carefully executed market strategy, innovation and continued investments.

“As such, I can strongly say that we have earned our success and we feel strongly that we should not be punished for it.”

Ng’ang’a spoke during the company’s annual general meeting on Friday.

A report by British research firm Analysys Mason had recommended to CA to impose controls on some of Safaricom products.

This was to include the sharing of infrastructure with its rivals under a regulated pricing regime as opposed to commercial arrangements and mobile money interoperability.

The report also urged the CA declare Safaricom a dominant player in the industry and proposed a number of interventions.

They include price controls and regulated infrastructure controls none of which Ng’ang’a said will benefit consumers in the long run.

Safaricom Chief executive Bob Collymore, reiterating the company’s position on regulator’s purge on the firm’s dominance, said: “It is not a bad thing unless it was being abused.”

“We believe the focus should be on finding opportunities to enable all the operators to serve customers better rather than reversing the gains of one operator.”

Collymore said defending their position was critical to protecting the interests of the consumers.During the AGM, the company announced the awarding of Sh44.1 billion in dividends to shareholders.It is a decade since Kenyan government sold its 25 per cent stake to the public in IPO where a share was sold at Sh5 to citizens and Sh5.50 to foreigners.The share was on Friday trading at Sh28.25 down from Sh29.50 at close of business on Thursday.

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