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Telkom Faces Delays in Obtaining Approval for the Formation of Mobile Money, Digital Subsidiaries

Telkom CEO Mugo Kibati. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Telkom Kenya might have to put its mobile financial lending plans on hold after delays in obtaining approval for its subsidiaries. The Telco said the Communications Authority of Kenya is delaying approval for the Telkom Digital and T-Kash subsidiaries.

In May 2021, Telkom announced plans to form two wholly-owned subsidiaries to house its financial and digital services.

T-Kash is expected to offer customers mobile money services, including the mobile loan app services which the company announced last week. Meanwhile, the telco’s efforts to meet the region’s growing need for data service will be concentrated in the Telkom digital subsidiary. This will include infrastructure such as a fiber network, international underwater cables, and a smart landing hub.

Read: Value of Person-to-Person Mobile Money Transfers Hit Ksh684.5 Billion in Three Months

Telkom Kenya CEO said however, that the plans were lagging as a result of delays in getting approval from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)

“We have done most of it we are waiting for the regulator’s approval. Once the regulator approves it, it’s done. Everything is done,’’ Kibati told Business Daily.

Telkom is partnering with Swedish-based infrastructure provider, Ericsson and South Africa- based systems integrator NEC XON to expand its 4G network with an additional 2,000 network sites. The company has invested Sh11.7 billion ($100 million) toward the project aimed at strengthening its data coverage and rising mobile internet demands.

Read also: High Court Gives Telkom, Airtel Green Light To Revive Merger Talks

Telkom also launched a Sh46 billion submarine cable this year in collaboration with Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (Peace) to provide faster speeds, lower latency, and wider capacity for its users. The Sh46 billion cable provides direct connectivity to Asia and links Africa to France and Pakistan via the Europe-Asia route

The company’s digital efforts are aimed at increasing its market share which is currently dominated by rival, Safaricom.

Last week, Telkom announced plans to build on T-Kash with an aim of taking over Safaricom’s M-Pesa market dominance. T-Kash will start providing instant mobile loans to users on the platform, with support from a commercial entity.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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