Kenya: KDN changes Internet billing in recovery bid

Internet

Kenya Data Networks (KDN) will charge Internet subscribers for what they have used, as it fights to claw back market share in an increasingly competitive environment.

KDN, like the rest in the industry, has been leasing Internet capacity to customers such as banks and telecoms firms on a monthly basis, but it will now meter users.

The model, the firm says, will help manage its communication budgets based on actual usage as opposed to the size of the leased pipe (bandwidth).

The move is seen as an effort by its new owners, Liquid Telecoms, to recover lost ground in the data market where players such as Wananchi Group and AccessKenya have made inroads and edged out KDN as the top player.

Shahab Meshki, the KDN Chief Executive Officer, told Business Daily that other measures to reclaim its lost market share are expanding its product portfolio to include video and voice and upgrading its switches to improve the quality of its network.

“I am confident about our current shareholders’ vision and where they want to take this company. Since Liquid came on board they have spent approximately $10 million which has helped us sort the network challenges we had,” said Mr Meshki.

He said the firm was still working on the technical aspects of the new billing model, especially how they will calculate the usage.

He added that the new billing will provide smaller Internet service providers (ISPs) a competitive edge in the market currently dominated by big telcos offering both wholesale and retail services.

According to the latest data from the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), KDN’s market share dropped to 23.4 per cent (21,377 clients) in the year to March from 30.2 per cent (24,094 clients) the previous year.

The firm slipped to the second position after being overtaken by Wananchi Group (35.4 per cent).