Orange 3G License: Will it Make an Impact in 2011?

Orange has today been awarded the 3G license as promised by the CCK. The comppany says that it intends to adopt the pole position in the local data market with an intensive rollout of its 3G mobile telephony network. The service, according to Orange, will be live by June next year.

That to me is a sign of a company which is not serious. Were they not contemplating this? Since the relaxation of rules why take that long. Who will need 3G next year? It wont even be that valuable. It will just be one of the data services but  the market has high demand for services which will make my streaming of video and viewing of pics and social media worthwhile.

Withe the entry of MTN business, it will be a miracle if Orange will ever achieve anythign with 3G in 2011 late. Now it can do something but alot of changes occur in ICT sector in one year. They will have to be very very innovative to get on top. Safaricom and Zain all have 3G licenses with the latter rolling out its network which will be ready by April 2011 and Safaricom already testing 4G.

The company has officially been awarded a 3G spectrum license by the Communications Commission of Kenya, paving way for an immediate and intensive roll out of high speed internet access for all its GSM customers that should be complete by mid next year.

The company has already set up a few 3G sites within all major urban areas country wide and successfully tested them over the past twelve months.

Demand for data is on the rise . Orange CEO, Mickael Ghossein, says that the Operator is committed to introducing new innovative products and services that would meet the dynamic needs of this market. I doubt that. The CEO has been known more of crying how they are not making money rather than doing anything substantive. We know that he has problems of the language and cant interract with the local media easily as he is not fluent in English.

But his recent claims that Orange is spending lots of money on protecting the Fibre link didn’t make sense to some of us. The CEO quoted a figure of 2 Billion in one of the press conferences. The figure doesn’t add up because what is the cost of the Orange link in Nairobi? Which are these companies the company is spending 2 Billion on to guard their underground network?.

Orange intends to invest over Ksh 3 billion (30 million euros) to roll out a 3G network in the country.

“With the upward increase on data consumption; provision of innovative services via high speed broadband is the next frontier for competition in the telecommunication sector. The new 3G network promises higher internet download and upload speeds while at the same time provides a platform for value addition services such as mobile TV, video on demand and video conferencing,” explained Ghossein.

Recent statistics from the Communications Commission of Kenya indicate the population of internet subscribers in Kenya rose from an estimated 400,000 users in June 2008 to 3.1 million as June 2010. This figure is expected to rise rapidly as the Internet’s use for social and business needs increases.

Communications Commission of Kenya Director General Charles Njoroge encouraged Orange to diversify its product offering with the new technology and introduce new services that would cater for the varying needs of telecommunications consumers.

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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