Kenya: Able Wireless to Enter the Kenyan Voice Market


Kenya’s Able Wireless, an on-demand wireless streaming service provider is set to enter Kenya’s voice industry by harnessing VoIP services exclusively for its subscribers.

Speaking to TechMoran about the development, Able Wireless co-founder and CEO Kahenya Kamunyu said, “We are looking at switching voice calls such as GoogleTalk, Facebook calls and others to link our users who are connected to a Wi-Fi network. We are not building an app. We want to have enhanced service for Facebook calling and routing it locally to our network instead of how it’s being done.”

Kamunyu told TechMoran the Able Wireless device (which is being built in China) will come with an in-built microphone and camera to allow users  call their friends via their TV screens.

“It’s routed through a special channel. I want them to try and swtich locally so users cannot burn so much money. With that we can also do numbered calling for our users. Our intertnal network will have an internal numbered network and our users can call their friends over TV.”

Able Wireless, which was supposed to have launched earlier blames its woes on regulators. it even had to close its Kenyan assembly plant and sale its machinery after the government forced it to relocate the manufacture and assembly to China insead of doing them here.

“The regulator said they were falling internal processes and the new board was just kickstarting its affairs. I will believe them even though it was a long and expensive wait. Government is the greatest stumbling block to local innovations. There’s no way we’re going to set up an assembly plant in Ruaraka then the govt tells us to move it away. Government gets more money from us than our investors. We pay more for taxes than for bandwidth. The govt is just talking but doesn’t help locals build anything,” Kamunyu told TechMoran.

Angered at the recent Sh15 billion security tender awarded to Safaricom, the entrepreneur pointed out why governments need to pull out of business and only deliver public services as mandated by the electorate and not meddle into private businesses or even invest in them.

“The government has no businesses doing business. It’s hard for the government to regulate itself and should let the private sector do businesses. We have so much conflict of interest as Safaricom is set to do security. It’s one huge conflict of interest as Safaricom can access your records without just cause and label you  terrorist,” he added.

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile network operator by subscribers and revenue was launched in 1997 by Telkom Kenya. In 2000, UK’s Vodafone Group Plc acquired a 40% stake while the Kenyan government and individual investors own the rest. The Kenyan government also owns stakes in firms such as Multichoice Kenya (GOtv) and Startimes.

To see a video clip with Kanhenya Kamunyu, click on the link here:

Source: TechMoran