INTERNET

FIERCE BANDWIDTH PRICE WAR BREAKS OUT IN KENYA AFTER COMPETITION

Kenya Data Network (KDN) has said it will offer bandwidth at rates that are lower than Telkom Kenya's revised tariffs. Telkom has aleady announced that it had reduced its tariffs by up to 69 per cent from its JamboNet subsidiary.

Last week, the industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) licensed KDN, Jamii Telecom and UUNet Kenya to compete with JamboNet, bringing to an end Telkom's monopoly in the bandwidth market. The KDN charges announced over the Christmas period are up to 56.9 per cent lower than the new JamboNet tariffs.

Speaking in Nairobi where the company signed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Standard Chartered Bank, KDN's managing director Kai U Wulff said bandwidth measuring 64 kbps will cost USD313 about 40 per cent cheaper than JamboNet's USD521.68. A 128 kbps bandwidth will be 57 per cent cheaper than the JamboNet rate. It will cost USD528 to be connected at KDN while at Telkom it will retail at USD1,225.77. KDN started the service on 1 January.

"We expect to see a 50 to 70 percent drop in prices," Brian Longwe, a director of the Telecommunication Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK). "By February, internet in Kenya will be much more accessible and available for the citizens. Internet service providers can expect lower costs and more revenue to expand to other areas in the country."

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