Telkom’s ICT department to operate under Telkom brand in merger with Airtel

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Telkom-Airtel Merger
PHOTO/COURTESY

There is a possibility that Telkom Kenya’s ICT department will continue operating under the Telkom name even after the proposed merger with Airtel comes into effect, a regulatory notice published last week has revealed.

The two telcos have sought approval from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) to merge their assets and businesses into one entity that will operate as Airtel-Telkom in a bid to increase competition against telco giant Safaricom which has dominated the country’s network provider industry for almost a decade.

“The applicants have made an application to the Communications Authority of Kenya of their intent to combine their telecommunication businesses in Kenya, through the transfer of Telkom Kenya’s mobile, enterprise and carrier business to Airtel Networks Kenya Limited in exchange for Telkom Kenya gaining a shareholding in Airtel Networks Kenya,” said CA Director- General Francis Wangusi in the notice.

“The parties have further indicated that upon approval of the proposed merger, Airtel will thereafter be renamed Airtel-Telkom, while Telkom will continue operating in the ICT sector providing certain other services to select customers,” the regulator added.

The CA is expected to approve the merger within a month should the two telecommunication companies adhere to certain stipulations and to that effect, the CA has called on any parties opposed to the merger to make their submissions before then.

According to a news report by the Business Daily, prior to seeking approval from the regulator, Telkom hived off its National Optic Fibre Backbone (Nofbi) that offers telecommunications access in all 47 counties from the merger talks. This was informed by the government’s reluctance to hand over control of the strategic communication system, which relays sensitive regime information, to Airtel in which it currently does not have any stake unlike in Telkom where it holds a 40 per cent stake.

ALSO READ: Airtel in talks to buy Telkom Kenya

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