Kenya’s telecoms regulator has collected US$29mn from ICT firms to improve communications infrastructure
The Communications Authority (CA) collected the money as part of the operators’ contribution to the Universal Service Fund (USF), which ultimately aims to reach US$856mn in order to be able to carry out the necessary upgrades.
Francis Wangusi, CA’s director general, told reporters at a press briefing, “We still urge all the licensed operators who provide services in the various communications market segments to contribute to this fund so that we can hit the Ksh70bn (US$856mn) mark to close gaps in communication.”
A recent study by CA indicated that at least 4.48mn Kenyans have no access to a mobile network, with an additional 29mn having no access to the internet either via broadband or through mobile phones.
It is expected that US$687mn of the overall USF fund will be used to set up base stations to provide voice and data services for the country’s more remote areas.
The fund was launched two years ago and mobile phone operators are required to contribute 0.5 per cent of their annual gross revenues.