Listed telecoms operator Safaricom has moved to reassure its competitor Zain Kenya, saying concerns raised by the latter over Safaricom’s handling of traffic originating from its network were somewhat premature.

“We must admit that we are quite surprised by the claims made by Zain that we are trying to stifle the delivery of their traffic to our network. These claims are quite insincere considering that Zain is fully aware of the procedures that all operators must adhere to when seeking to increase their inter-connect traffic capacity,” said Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph. “Under the agreement the inter-connect pipe belongs to them and they should have upgraded it long before yesterday to accommodate their changed tariff plan.”

Quoting the inter-connect agreement between Zain and Safaricom, Mr Joseph stressed: “The inter-connect agreement between Safaricom and Zain provides for a minimum notice period of seven working days before a request for increased capacity can be effected. Zain’s formal request was received by us late last night (Wednesday 18th, August 2010) and we were in the process of processing it alongside other capacity requests received on the day.”

Safaricom would continue with its unflinching commitment to integrity in all its operations including honouring the terms of agreements between it and its competitors.

“Safaricom has now and in the past continued to adhere to the terms of the inter-connect agreements signed with all operators and wishes to urge other operators to do the same. We have always been ethical in the way we conduct our business and our integrity is the greatest pillar of our success in Kenya. We will however not take responsibility for the consequences of poor planning by other operators,” said Mr Joseph.

“We feel that their request to the CCK to declare Safaricom dominant so soon after the launch of their new tariff is insincere, particularly as it was the result of poor planning on their side.”

He added: “We have always been courteous to Zain, even to the extent of accommodating them when they were unable to clear the significant debt that they owed us. This notwithstanding, we shall continue to cooperate with them as guided by the inter-connect agreement and other industry rules. We invite them to engage us within those parameters.”