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.


Safaricom Digs In Its Heels Over Deployment of 'Snooping' Device

Article Image
Safaricom is still resisting efforts by the Communications Authority of Kenya to install a device management system (DMS) on its network, citing snooping and privacy concerns.

The regulator says the DMS is intended only to identify stolen and counterfeit mobile devices being used on the network -- and it's been saying this for months. (See Kenyan Authorities Deny Phone-Tapping Claims.)

But the mobile operator says its concerns over the system's role and capabilities have not been properly addressed: It believes the presence of the DMS will deter Kenyans from using their phones over concerns their communications are being monitored and that the regulator has not properly explained to the public what it is doing and why.

The Authority, though, believes it is within its rights to have the DMS installed and has already awarded a contract to Broadband Communications Networks for the delivery, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of a DMS device in Safaricom's network.

Now the matter is going to court, reports The Daily Nation, with the case set to be heard on September 20.

Safaricom Ltd. has more than 28 million customers and dominates the Kenyan mobile market, boasting a market share of more than 70%. And while it can claim to be taking the moral high ground in this instance, protecting its customers from potential snooping by third parties, its main concern will be to avoid any scenario that undermines its position and leads to an erosion of its customer base or a dip in service usage. (See Safaricom Boasts Enhanced 4G Service With LTE-A Deployments and Cameroon, Egypt & Kenya Feature in Connecting Africa Country Guide Part 1.)

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

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.


Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


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.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up