JTL CEO Joshua Chepkwony and others at a past function

Details of a well sponsored NASA’s Safaricom scheme is emerging even as the telco sheds off its value at the securities exchange market while NASA supporters migrate from the network in droves.

Key analysts of the market have observed that some of the competitors of Safaricom have hijacked the move by NASA to urge its supporters to boycott the giant telecommunications company.

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According to sources within the telecommunication industry, it is believed that NASA is just avoiding being blunt with its supporters to exit Safaricom and wait to Jamii Telecom (JTL) which is expected to launch its 4G network sometimes later in the year or early next year.

In sponsoring the boycott-Safaricom campaign, Jamii Telecom hopes to create a mistrust within the sector that a fluid user base which can move, exists to disrupt the sector during its launch.

Jamii Telecom has been testing its 4G network in the country with a rollout expected to have been almost complete.

Suspicion that Jamii Telecom is sponsoring NASA’s campaign against Safaricom is reinforced by the fact that the immediate neighbour of Raila in Karen in JTL’s founder Joshua Chepkwony who is also understood to have donated a substantial amount to NASA’s campaign unlike 2013 when he invested in Jubilee.

While Raila and DP Ruto might not see eye-to-eye politically, Raila’s backing for boycott of Safaricom is believed to be supported by the Deputy President, albeit covertly.

The Deputy President recently made claims that Raila is blackmailing Safaricom for donations, a move that is believed to have been meant to act as a decoy to state monitors and business community.

JTL was a former major carrier for Safaricom’s data before the giant telco decided to build its own network when Joshua Chepkwony refused to sell the company to the then “Better Option.

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JTL’s competition with Safaricom is wholly on the fixed data network now that Safaricom has been bragging openly that it is at 90,000 connections, a figure which scares Jamii’s 200,000 connections.

Recently, Safaricom protested the intention of the Communication Authority to award JTL 700MHz spectrum without involving other operators and for free. The spectrum became available after the digital migration.

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Operators expected the Communication Authority to auction the spectrum like it has always done, valuing at more than Ksh200 billion.

While other operators supported Safaricom on this, they equally reminded Safaricom that it was awarded the 800MHz band few years ago leading to a protest from other operators.

The 800MHz frequency spectrum was later split equally between Safaricom, Orange and Airtel with each of the operators paying Ksh 1.03 Billion for the same.

Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya are waiting for the gazettement of the frequency award to JTL to protest the move and demand a share of the same.

When stories of the irregular award of the frequency emerged, Joshua Chepkwony told the Daily Nation that the story was “the product of machinations and intrigues by dominant actors in the telecommunication industry who are keen on protecting their monopolistic dominance.”

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The recent NASA boycott leading to migration mostly from Safaricom to Airtel has not made much sense to analysts since Safaricom and Airtel have been sister companies through the indirect relationship with Vodafone.

Still, NASA’s strong claims against Safaricom in regards to being a key participant in electoral malpractices in the country and sharing private phone data with state assassins has woken Kenyans to the illegal dealings by the giant telco.

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