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Fear of losing customers to rivals slowed down number portability

23 March 2016, 16:27 PSCU

Nairobi - The fear of losing customers to rival telecoms during portability period (the time when one has switched numbers to other networks) has left the exercise on shaky ground.

Communications Authority (CA) Director General Francis Wangusi said this fear was heightened with the longer period it took to port a number.

He however noted that the Authority is revising the time, adding that portability was also affected by increased uptake of multiple simcard phones.

“The time taken to port from one number was too long and operators feared losing customers to rivals, which made the process slow down,” he said.

“Acquiring multiple simcard phones has also slowed down the process with some people having two or three simcards, with some with even 20 simcards.”

Read Also: Leather city to create 50,000 direct jobs

Speaking at the East Africa Ministers Panel titled ‘Getting the Next Billion Online’ during the Connected 2016 Summit at Leisure Lodge Resort, Diani in Kwale County on Wednesday morning, Wangusi observed that the mushrooming of telecom masts has forced CA to come up with regulations on their location.

He rooted for the sharing of infrastructure. “The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) was to regulate where masts should be located but with them mushrooming everywhere, we are relooking into the issue afresh,” observed Wangusi.

On dominance, the director general said the first tender to determine the issue was non-responsive and fresh bids have sent out to hire a consultant.

Mr Wangusi said a firm may be dominant in one area but not in all other areas, and may not abuse dominance. “It is only through the abuse of dominance that we can have a market crash and affirm that may be dominant today may not be still be dominant tomorrow,” he noted.

He observed that a team has been formed to handle a new ICT framework under the new policy that will also aid in defining dominance and other issues in the sector. He stated that the policy will also determine the relationship between the National Government and county governments.

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- News24


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