Sfaricom CEO, Michael Joseph was on Citizen TV tonight. And he was breathing fire. He is not the normal laid back and “I dont care” man we know. Michael Joseph seems to be in deep shit with CCK and we are loving it and we want more. We want Safaricom to not abuse its dorminant position which Michael Joseph lied that they are not abusing.
Ok for a start let me brief you on what MJ was doing with Belinda Obura (I found her very ignorant and out to promote the position of MJ). Safaricom wants specifics added to the fair competition rules. And the specifics are, “an operator (dominant) will be punished only when they abuse its market position. MJ believes ad even goes on to assert that Safaricom has not been abusing its position.
Guys are we sleeping. Let me give you specific instances where Safaricom abused its market leader position. When we were at the Mobile Web East Africa at KICC, Peter Arina found himself under fire for various actions of Safaricom. Many developers and the bloggers who were in attendance were so much against the data charges which they saw as very expensive.
Safaricom’s Arina said how they don’t see data as an important market yet and even the head of value added services at Safaricom who was left by Arina to take the flak said how us, bloggers and developers, like free things. But you know what, in the next week, Safaricom launched the craziest offer on data yet. Safaricom capped unlimited data at Ksh 999 for 7 days and the promotion went for more than a month. That is abuse.
During valentines, Safaricom has been able to offer 50% or more airtime for every account topped up. This can only be done when you are in the position of Safaricom and cannot be done by others. Safaricom has used this account top up mechanism to quieten dissent especially when the network cantle handle calls or has more dropped calls.
Safaricom is holding the high spenders in the mobile telephony sector. This is done by using freebies to bribe users instead of focusing on delivery of superior service.
The only superior service which Safaricom has is data and Safaricom has the service better than all because it has refused to accept entry of competition in the sector citing what they spent to purchase the spectrum for 3G.
You can find other arguments I have had with folks on the telecoms war on this link.
And below is a post which was sent elsewhere and was a response to ignorant allegations to support Safaricom’s point.
Safaricom should not be blamed for the ills facing the telecommunications sector, Orange and other smaller players were piggy riding on the false promise that government will “cut safaricom to size” in order for them to turn a profit. Telkom has existed for so many years I fail to count, yet Orange keeps making noise. Why cant they leverage on the Telkom brand as Safaricom did and grow?
Blaming Safaricom for their own inefficiencies wont make sense. Safaricom pays the exchequer a lot of money in both direct and indirect taxes, and employs many more people out of their mainstream employees – such as partners and vendors of airtime and mpesa, not roping in the various subscription based business models, not counting even baby sitters. Does Telkom employ even a single babysitter for their employees? How long does one get a response to their problem on a Telkom network? In my area, YU internet runs as GPRS, while Safaricom is past EDGE, way into WCDMA or HSPDA. Pretty fast connection. If YU doesnt upgrade its Internet, why should I be forced to use it? And Orange is not even there. Villifying Safaicom will just add to the specter of failed enterprises and the companies complaining do not have an innovative business model to take care of a competitive business environment.
Much of what Safaricom is using to develop the infrastructure is borrowed money – money that they get from bonds on the free market. I’ve never heard Zain, YU or Orange getting bonds to the market to raise money to improve their network. Walalahoi. Nkt.
What is Safaricom doing now that they cant do? They waited until Safaricom overly publicized Mpesa for them to develop and market their own, and when that flops, they turn to the government for salvation. That is unfair. Kenyans are not being forced on Safaricom, they choose it because the SIM cards they most likely find in the nearest market is a Safaricom line and Safaricom airtime. Then they know how to choose. If Safaricom gets rewarded for their innovation and aggressive product promotion to turn a profit, so should Orange, YU and Zain. For example, Telkom/Orange keeps copying everything Safaricom does – like promotions. So how does a copy cat survive when they don’t know what drives Safaricom to engage in such business practices?
Infantile antics will not bring a proft to these companies. They must innovate, or just like Popote Wireless and Flashcom, they will sink with the hopes of a nation. We must Appreciate innovation and aggressive product tendencies so that like South African companies, we conquer our region. The new form of slavery, just like in the old form, needs some savages, and thats the difference.
Even Access Kenya is going to die because they are not innovative. When the market needed them, they kept on shifting goal posts until Safaricom came and took hold of the market AK could not claim. Now AK has no room for further grown unless they innovate! I think in the not too distant future, the Somen’s will see the fruits of innovation or lack of it, just like Popote Wireless, Flashcom, Zain, YU, Orange, UUNET and so on. And the fruits might leave a bitter taste like what YU/Orange/Zain are finding now.
Please government, don’t sacrifice innovation over ineptitude. The biggest loser will be the Kenya people you are purporting to be trying to save. The key wasnt monopoly, it was about allowing more players to bring competition into town and to help drive prices down. If the players can’t play, they should be replaced with more savvy players who cherish competition. That’s how a Kenyan will benefit. Blaming others for your ineptitude is juvenile
Guys, I expect very strong arguments from skunkers and not these cheap praise singing and then we have people who should know better yelling YEAH YEAH. Did we even go to school?