Telkom goes back to the roots… does Orange bow out?
France Télécom (later Orange S.A.) managed the business of Kenya’s only fixed-line network provider for many decades and bought up almost all of the shares during the subsequent course of the business relationship. But now the time has come for “Helios Investment Partners”.
The network taken over is comparably well-developed and has a similar quality standard to Telkom’s competitors. Thanks to the rebranding Orange Kenya becomes Telkom Kenya, which is the original name of Kenya’s modern telecommunication.
Orange’s successive retreat from Africa’s operative business results from the increasingly powerful competition with large corporations from Asia on the pan-african telecommunication market.
Helios Investment Partners want to take their chance to permamently establish their company in the market through a realignment of the network provider and its products. In order to gain the African customers’ trust, the group decided to enter into collaborations with the Kenyan government. Besides taxes that are due further capital should go to the state treasury and therefore sustainably benefit the Kenyan infrastructure.
The long-term goal seems to achieve market dominance by creating a “brand of the people” along with Telkom. This will probably be coupled to further investments in network expansion and because of the takeover Telkom will become the driving force behind that. Whether the corporation merely focuses on internet calling or on basic networks which are decoupled from another remains to be seen.
Telkom’s actual challenge is the technical transition period from outdated to modern technologies like LTE and its trouble-free integration in urban as well as rural areas.
What is absolutely certain is that the African market is craving for better performance in the telecommunications sector. Increasing demand for SIM cards and higher mobile data volume makes the market increasingly attractive.
Kenya’s adaption to European network standards is coming closer thanks to Telkom.