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CCK NEW RULES FOR MOBILE PHONE COMPANIES IN KENYA

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Lets debate now...Dominant player, Safaricom, is up in arms against new rules published by the Communications Commission of Kenya that it says are meant to help its smaller rivals, Zain, Orange and Yu. The market regulator on Tuesday came out to deny that it was siding with the smaller players. Control charges It pledged to implement the regulations that have been welcomed by the other three companies, but bitterly denounced by Safaricom. The new rules will allow the CCK to control or even lower call charges set by the market leader. Price increases or reductions can only be implemented with approval of the regulator; while even popular marketing strategies such as reduced promotional rates such as Supa Ongea and Bonga Points can only be introduced with permission and can run only for limited periods. Safaricom is complaining that it is being specifically targeted because it is the only mobile phone provider that meets the dominance threshold defined in the regulations; and therefore, the only one open to the new controls. CEO Michael Joseph told the Nation on Tuesday that Safaricom might go to court to block the new regulations. “Those who have a problem with the regulations should go to the tribunal,” CCK director-general Charles Njoroge, told a press conference on Tuesday. The battle came out into the open on Monday when Safaricom put out full-page press advertisements decrying the five new rules under the Kenya Information and Communications Regulations 2010. Mr Joseph accused CCK of punishing success and using punitive regulations to support less innovative rival companies. Zain, Orange and Yu countered the following day with a joint advertisement of their own in praising CCK and the government for acting against “abuse of dominance” and ensuring that “consumers are not exploited”. The new regulations gazetted by CCK are on Dispute Resolution; Tariffs and Compliance Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement.

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