Orange Telkom not closing Kenya business: Ghossein

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Speculation that Orange Telkom Kenya would be closing its Kenyan operations has been put to rest.

There was speculation that Orange, which owns 70 per cent of Telkom Kenya, was reviewing its investment due to diminished chances of making profit.

The company CEO Mickael Ghossein said the firm is investing over 2.5 billion shillings as it seeks to transform its operation to enhance service delivery and increase market share.

The capital expenditure is targeted at rolling out 3G network across the country, expand the national optic fibre backbone and launch the Multi Service Access Node (MSAN). 

 “We are also constructing and managing the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) on behalf of the government and currently we have five operators using the network. We have constructed a total of 5,200kilometres of duct fibre,” said Ghossein.

Ghossein however hinted that the company is seeking strategic partners for sustainability.

The revelation comes at a time when Kenya’s telcom scene is undergoing key changes with the looming exit of YuMobile.

CCK has already approved the sale of Essar-owned yuMobile to Safaricom and Airtel.

 “We are putting in more capital to meet growing demand for our services to the market and provide our customers with superior services,” said Ghossein on Tuesday.

In the business front, we are proud to report strong growth for the first quarter. Our GSM revenue grew by 30 percent in the first quarter on a year to year basis while our data corporate business grew by 17 percent, Ghossein said.

He said Orange Telkom Kenya has built and is operating 3 of the four landing stations for fibre optics, namely The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS), Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION II).

“These cables continue to carry internet and private data traffic within and without the country, enabling Kenya to continue growing its National Broadband Agenda as well as the realization of the National ICT Master Plan and the country’s Vision 2030,” he said.

 “To serve our customers better, we have opened 10 new sales and customer service shops bringing the total outlet to 35, we have 10,000 new points of sales and 100 franchise shops,” Ghossein said.

“Orange Telkom Kenya is an ongoing business concern and we are focused on growing our business and serving our customers… we are currently in the second phase of the fixed technology refresh with a roll out of high speed network, supported by MSAN technology that allows for the aggregation of multiple subscribers on the network,” he said.

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