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Zain Kenya to launch 3G in July 2010.

This is probably the biggest news in Kenya’s telecoms sector after Safaricom’s stunning financial results from last week. According to various online news sources, Zain Kenya is on track to secure a license for 3G services by July 2010. This comes on the back of an announcement from Zain Kenya’s CEO Rene Meza who says that the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has agreed to (finally!) lower 3G license fees from the current astronomical US$ 25 Million to a significantly less expensive price. If this is indeed true then the CCK should be announcing the new 3G license rates sometime this week according to media reports.

Zain Kenya is currently Kenya’s second largest mobile network with around 2 million users. Currently, Zain only offers 2.5 G services and as such are unable to compete effectively with Safaricom’s 3G service. In addition, neither YU or Orange Kenya have 3G as well and we are yet to hear what their reactions will be to this latest announcement. One thing is certain, mobile data is fast becoming a linchpin for Safaricom’s superior business performance for both retail and business customer segments. It will be interesting to see if Zain Kenya can match or better Safaricom’s 3G pricing going forward as this has been quite expensive for most users to-date. Whatever the case, its been a long time coming but finally 3G will be more widespread in Kenya.

In light of Zain Kenya going 3G, and presumably the same will happen with YU and Orange Kenya in due course, what remains to be seen is how Safaricom will respond. Incidentally, Safaricom have already announced that they plan to start testing 4G services later this year on their network. At this juncture as it stands, the CCK has not yet published the new reduced 3G license pricing, leave alone 4G so Safaricom is clearly well ahead of the market. 4G is also known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and typically allows users to upload and download movies, music and data to their mobile devices far quicker than 3G or 2G.

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11 Comments

  1. Barasa
    June 2, 2010 at 4:15 am — Reply

    Zain by now should realise that with tech u must be among the pioneers other wise catching up is a hustle! Again i think if they borrow a leaf from job, the brain behind apples ever success in wooing tech fans in its products, recently with the #ipad then they can really standout! Nway for the zain 3g launch i just can’t wait!

  2. June 2, 2010 at 7:46 am — Reply

    Zain must be reasonably sure that Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta will propose to waive,lower, or alter the payment plan for the $25 million license in his budget speech later this month
    .-= bankelele´s last blog ..National Microfinance Bank AGM =-.

  3. June 2, 2010 at 11:20 am — Reply

    This is hope for Zain in Kenya to win back the masses. They will have to go all out to deliver high quality data connections which must go with high quality (selfless) customer support and more importantly at prices for the masses.

    Definitely the new owners at Bharti Airtel and Meralli might just have to sink in more dollars/Rupees to the loss making sleeping giant.
    .-= gmeltdown´s last blog ..M-KESHO’s subtle hints on the future of Safaricom =-.

  4. Githathi
    June 3, 2010 at 2:32 am — Reply

    Let’s wait

  5. Noah Ogori
    June 6, 2010 at 2:05 am — Reply

    Competition is great! Bring it on Zain. Looking for Speed, Consistency/Reliability and as my friends have aleady said, excellent engineers to support the solution + VAS

  6. benochali
    June 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm — Reply

    CCK should refund safaricom 15 million USD.safaricom brought us 3G when non of the competitors was willing to take the risk.4G is now coming and Safaricom is already testing it(zain the time is now are you in?)Safaricom delivers latest technology on time CCK fees should be fair and uniform to all competitors.CCK,will 4G licence be the same to all competitors ?we want to embrace the latest technologies and at this rate,CCK will scare the very people who would plug us to the latest internet technologies for fear of lincence fees being lowered.

  7. June 15, 2010 at 10:35 am — Reply

    I don’t have a zain line and faster speeds on data than safaricom may woo me to their network. I also think they should hold on to their investment and launch 4g directly if that is technically possible. Let zain develop a niche and build the earnings per subscriber. Better be small and profitable because then they’ll beat the financial storm.

  8. Paul
    September 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm — Reply

    This will really be a very big breakthrough in the technology world because with even the 3G technology Safaricom is exploiting customers by selling them bundles which is more expensive than having an unlimited internet access at a fixed cost per month which Zain has been doing. Ever realized that having a modem with which you buy bundles is more expensive than one who is using an ADSL or wireless connection with a fixed fee of atleast 6,000 or more per month.

  9. PromulgatedKabisa
    September 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    Could you kindly follow up on Zain 3G because june came and went and I’ve never heard of 3G services from Zain? Please. Thanks

    • Benochali
      November 4, 2010 at 9:33 am — Reply

      Zain promised us 3G by July 2010.we are in November and still crawling on the EDGE/GPRS speeds. Safaricom is now about to officially launch 4G and last week they were testing Video call services which will be available to
      subscribers very soon.I had an opportunity to try video calling from Nokia N70 and E75 and it was amazing.
      It is no longer a matter of just calling and smsing but a matter of variety.safaricom now has a huge granite rock
      in it’s sling.It has long forseen the slow death of voice call
      revenues and rushed to grab the data pipes.

  10. mcharazo
    November 5, 2010 at 5:29 am — Reply

    zain do not seem to listen to their subscribers and do things their way and when they feel like it. When will they wake up and realize we do not need our phones filled with promotional messages but filled with the latest technology available.
    Failure to do this they will ensure they never turn a profit as people need quality more than cheap calls.

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