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Government and nine private firms to implement LTE network in one year’s time

July 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Kenya is set to have 4G network soon following the Treasury’s approval of a public-private partnership to implement the network’s roll-out.

Information P.S Bitange Ndemo has said the Treasury last week gave its nod to a consortium of nine private firms in partnership with the government to implement the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Ndemo added that they want to target especially the rural areas that have thus far been technologically marginalised.

Nine private firms are in the consortium include Kenya’s four main mobile phone operators, hardware manufacturers, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, Kenya Data Networks (KDN), South African mobile operator MTN and an unnamed US telecom firm.

In 2010, Safaricom signed a three-year Sh12 billion contract with Chinese mobile manufacturer, Huawei, to roll out the 4G network.

LTE is a fourth generation (4G) mobile network that will provide fast speeds and higher bandwidth for multimedia services . The roll-out will cost an estimated Sh42 billion.

A few months back, the CCK had dismissed calls for surrender of broadcasting spectrum in the 700MHz band for use in deployment of LTE services as ill-timed and impracticable. Its not clear what spectrum will be used for the roll-out.

CCK Ag. Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said the 700MHz band would become available for re-assignment to other services after the country migrates from analogue to digital TV broadcasting.

The deadline for the switch off of analogue TV broadcasting in Africa, parts of Europe, Russia and the Middle East is June 17, 2015 in line with an agreement signed at the ITU in 2006.  As a member of the ITU, Kenya is bound by the provisions of this agreement.

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CCK sets new deadline for switch off of counterfeit mobile handsets

June 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has set 30th September 2012 as the new deadline for operators to switch off fake mobile phone handsets. The original deadline was December last year, but that was then pushed forward to April this year owing to what the commission said was inadequate consultation and a lack of technology.

Regulatory concern over counterfeit handsets stems from the fact that counterfeit devices deny manufacturers revenue through counterfeit production of their products. In addition, use of counterfeit handsets may expose consumers to safety and health risks as the phones may not meet the approved radiation standards. Further counterfeit devices typically enter markets via unofficial channels thus denying the government of revenue.

According to industry statistics, close to 2.4 million mobile phones in the market are counterfeit, representing 9.39 % of the active mobile devices in the country.  The ongoing initiative to rid Kenya of counterfeit mobile phones is driven by CCK in conjunction with industry players, handset manufacturers, and other relevant government agencies including KeBS, Office of the President, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

The good news now is that  a system through which subscribers would be able to interrogate a central database via SMS to verify whether their devices are genuine or not has been put in place.

In order to confirm if a handset is genuine, a subscriber will use the following procedure:

·        Dial*#06# to establish the mobile handset’s IMEI.

·        Copy the 15-digit number displayed on the screen.

·        Type the 15-digit number (IMEI) and submit it via SMS to 1555.

CCK today also launched the Anti-Counterfeit campaign that seeks to  ensure that mobile services subscribers are aware that their mobile might cease to work once the switch off date reaches. Mobile operators will also now have more time to make technical preparations for disconnecting the counterfeit handsets.

Dial that *#06# number and make sure you have a genuine handset!

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