Safaricom Feels Punished and Others Fight for “Real Competition”
Safaricom is spoiling for a fight and the gloves are off. The reason is “unfair regulations” and the stage is the telecoms market. We might just love the fight if it will bring down the exploitative rates we are currently seeing.
The bone of contention are the following;
- Kenya Information and Communication (Dispute Regulations) 2010
- Kenya Information and Communication (Tariff Regulations) 2010
- Kenya Information and Communication (Compliance Monitoring, Inspections and Enforcement Regulations) 2010
- Kenya Information and Communication (Fair Competition & Equality of Treat) Regulations 2010
- Kenya Information and Communication (Interconnection & Provision of Fixed Links Access & Facilities) Regulations 2010.
All these regulations have brought in a good fight which might just change the industry. Safaricom is protecting its turf but the truth is that there is just no reason why an operator should have a market share of more than 30% and still not declare it a monopoly. Where is the commisioner of monopolies? Why is the market so unfair. And Safaricom is in bed with the government and so it is taking alot of prodding to have the ministry and the regulator to step in and even out the market.
The Statement from Safaricom CEO is talking for them being punished for being successful but the truth is that nobody is punishing Safaricom. CCK is just implementing regulations which should have been in place 10 years ago.
The statement by Yu, Orange and Zain talks of real competition as there had never been any real competition. “As industry players we believe that the real winners in the implementation of these regulations will be the consumers of telecommunication services. The regulations will ensure that there is real competition, and consumers will benefit greatly from improved services from all operators as well as lower costs and the freedom to move from one operator to another.” read the statement.
What this will bring into the market is yet to be seen but truth be told. Safaricom rode onto the Telkom (government) network for free for 5 years. Safaricom has got it really easy and if let unchecked, Safaricom is becoming a monopoly which must be stopped.
We have asked for the intervention since 2007 but no one has cared to listen. Before this, all the other operators have thought that the regulation was going to affect them, but the truth is that the regulations will benefit small players and level the playing field.
The argument by Safaricom that CCK is becoming a player is not true. CCK is waking from the slumber and accusation of favouritism and stamping its authority in the market. Without the regulator doing that, it is going and has been very unfair to the consumer since the dominant player, not only in voice but also data, have become too arrogant and lost touch with the consumer. Also the on-net calls have become 11% cheaper but that is not the problem. The problem is the off-net and regional calls.
This is not price controls, this is simply CCK waking up and giving the consumer haki yake (his / her rights).