NAIROBI, August 14 – Telkom Kenya adopted a new corporate logo Thursday, with revelations that its new French owners had pumped in Sh5.5 billion in the last six months to improve infrastructure and maintain its system.
Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dominique St Jean said that part of the money had been used to undertake various projects such as the rehabilitation of the fixed network, expansion of the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) in both the rural and urban areas and the laying of the Mombasa- Malindi Radio link.
“We are currently in the process of analysing and refurbishing all the parts of our fixed network which has been severely vandalised,” he explained.
This process, he hinted, would correspond with the probable increase in the number of fixed lines, which currently stands at approximately 300,000.
St Jean said Telkom, which was acquired by France Telecom last December, had invested heavily in re-training their staff, customer service delivery and new products, which would be launched soon.
“The new broadband service is one example of the premium services we are bringing to Kenyans. More evidence of our new services and the details of their pricing will follow in the coming weeks,” he intimated.
Although he declined to divulge the strategy and the amount of money that the company would be spending in the coming months, St Jean pledged that customers could expect to see changes in as soon as three weeks.
“Telkom Kenya will be unrecognisable in the coming months. The changes we’ve made are not cosmetic changes. They are fundamental and far reaching with unprecedented investments not only in operations but in a brand new approach to the way we do business,” he vowed.
He lauded the anticipated laying of the fibre optic cable saying it would create opportunities for them to offer competitive pricing and enhanced integrated solutions.
Speaking during the same function, Information Minister Samuel Poghisio urged Telkom and other players to roll out their services in rural areas in order to help the government to bridge the digital divide in the country.
“This is one way of creating employment for the youth,” the Minister noted.
He re-affirmed the government’s commitment to support partnerships between Kenyan companies and international investors saying this would deliver value to the public and enable the country to keep up with the changing pace of technology.
It is estimated that a 10 percent increase in mobile phone penetration could boost Kenya’s GDP growth by at least 0.6 percent while a 1 percent increase in internet users would raise total exports by 4.3 percent.
“Attracting and sustaining investments is vital if we are to raise the quality of telecommunications services in Kenya,” Poghisio added.
Telkom is expected to benefit from the wealth of expertise offered by the France Telecom Group which has a presence in over 15 countries in Africa and 172 million customers across 220 countries in the world.
France Telecom was voted the best world operator at the World Communication Awards in 2007.