CCK to Set Up New Licence Regime in Kenya

Telecoms

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) plans to introduce a single licensing framework and market structure beginning July 1st 2008. Currently, the regulator said, it is collating views from stakeholders to fine tune the final document, adding that the matter had gone through initial consultations which had yielded a new market structure and a set of guidelines to be used in implementing the new framework. CCK, therefore, said it needed the input of stakeholders in the final outcome. In the new licence regime, CCK has segmented the licenses into three; network, service and content providers.

This means network providers, unlike presently when they acquire licenses based on the type of networks, will have a unified licence that will cover satellite, terrestrial, mobile and fixed telephone services.

The service providers will be able to offer all services to the end users using the network services of a facility provider.

Content services providers will, on their part, cover areas such as radio and television material, and other information services and data processing services. In an advertisement inviting the stakeholders to submit their views on the intended changes, the regulator said it have studied the market since 2004 and was convinced that it was mature for a transition.

Convergence in technology and services has led to a situation where different services use a single access and transmission network. "The technological advancements in ICT sub-sector have thus rendered the long-held technology-oriented licensing approach untenable," CCK said. In September 2004, CCK announced its intention to implement a unified technology neutral licensing regime.

CCK has also reported that it wants to strengthen its consumer protection role. The interests of consumers of communications services in Kenya will be better protected, following the creation of a Consumer Affairs Division at CCK. The new division will be responsible for strengthening the Commission's capacity to discharge its consumer protection roles.

The Nation