NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27- The Communication Commission Kenya (CCK) has revoked several wireless and broadcasting frequency that have not been utilised.
Newly appointed CCK Chairman Engineer Philip Okundi vowed on Friday that the cancellation of the licences would continue to free up spectrum which have not been put into use and assign it to operators who are ready to utilise it.
“We will repossess those frequencies and assign them to investors who are prepared to put them into immediate use and thus create employment for our youth,” he stressed.
While launching the Commission’s five year strategic plan, the Chairman added that they would soon review the spectrum pricing regime in order to facilitate the access to affordable broadband such as WiMAX technologies.
“This is part of the process of moving towards a market-based spectrum pricing methodologies,” he continued.
He also revealed that the implementation of the unified licensing framework had begun and over 35 unified licenses have been issued. He expressed optimism that many more would be given.
“There are a number of applications that are in different stages of processing. I wish to call on licensees who are yet to apply to migrate to the new regime which offers them opportunities to increase the scope of their business over time,” he urged.
The framework is also expected to address regulatory challenges associated with convergence of licences and allow providers to operate efficiently.
At the same time, Eng Okundi disclosed that CCK was working with the Information Ministry to ensure migration (from analogue) to digital TV broadcasting is realised by 2012. He added that plans to licence signal distributors to facilitate the migration were underway.
Eng Okundi who was appointed by President Mwai Kibaki is starting his three-year tenure at a time when all sectors of the economy are being impacted by the on going financial slump.
The Chairman acknowledged that while analysts predict that the ICT sector would weather the storm, the hard times would have some adverse effects on the performance of the ICT sector.
“While the sector many lose some sheen, I am positive that it will still retain its vibrancy and will again cruise to the usual cruise levels of growth,” he added.
The Chairman pointed to the anticipated arrival of three undersea fibre optic cables saying they would change the communication landscape in the country.
The cables would bring with them affordable bandwidth which would help to increase the internet penetration levels and bolster the country’s Business Process Outsourcing sector.