Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Forget Orange Kenya – Now It's Telkom

Article Image
The mobile sector in Kenya just witnessed another upheaval as the Orange brand finally disappeared from the market, replaced simply by the name Telkom.

In June 2016 Orange, having helped to build up a mobile operation that ranked third in the Kenyan market, sold its stake to Helios Investment Partners, which now owns 60% of the resulting company (while the remaining 40% stake is held by the Kenyan government).

With a new name and a new brand, the Telkom management team now has a mammoth task to build up its mobile business, which now, according to the Ovum World Cellular Information Service (WCIS), only commands a 6.5% share of a market that has more than 37 million subscribers.

That market share has shrunk in the past year as new rules were introduced forcing the operators to declare only "active" users. That knocked millions off Telkom's mobile user base and it now only has about 2.5 million customers, much lower than its rivals Airtel Kenya and the clear market leader Safaricom (about 75% market share). (See Kenya's Mobile Numbers Dip as Telkom Hits the Revise Button .)

But Telkom's CEO Aldo Mareuse is determined to send those numbers in the right direction and has been investing during the past year, pumping 5 billion Kenyan Shillings (US$48.4 million) into mobile network expansion, adding 1,600 sites according to local reports.

Telkom CEO Aldo Mareuse is looking to pick up market share with a focus on data services.
Telkom CEO Aldo Mareuse is looking to pick up market share with a focus on data services.

Mareuse has also been talking up the company's new strategy, which is focused on mobile data services: indeed, the new brand and new name come hand-in-hand with a promotional offer of one month of free daily 4G data and free daily access to WhatsApp for one month. (See Telkom Kenya Set for Relaunch.)

Telkom's efforts have been anticipated, though, with market leader Safaricom recently boasting of its upgraded 4G network capabilities in major towns. (See Safaricom Boasts Enhanced 4G Service With LTE-A Deployments.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, International Group Editor, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub


Connecting Africa Podcast: S2 Ep. 4 – Agri-fintech, from kibbutz to Kenya

The Connecting Africa Podcast team speak to Israeli-Kenyan startup Avenews' co-founder and CEO, Shalom Ben-Or, about his fintech super-app that has been built specifically for Africa's agriculture industry.


Hot startup of the month: Cloud-native developer Deimos

This month's hot startup is pan-African cloud technology and professional services company Deimos which is on a mission to be the leading cloud-native technology company in Africa.

More Innovation hub

Flash poll

All polls

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives


Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.


Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up