Communications Authority fines Safaricom a hefty Sh449 million

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The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has imposed a fine on Safaricom for what they say is failure to connect smaller, less established firms.

The fine will see the telecoms giant paying a hefty KSh 449 million which is approximately 0.2 percent of its gross revenue for the 2017-2018 financial year.

In an article by Reuters, a letter from the Communications Authority revealed that Safaricom had obtained grievances from rival firm, Elige Communications Ltd, for blocking calls to its network.

“This is an act of blatant disregard of not only other licensees’ rights but also the Authority’s directives and in contravention of license conditions,” Communications Authority of Kenya said in the letter, dated August 1, 2018.

In a reply to CAK, Safaricom said in a letter reviewed by Reuters that the company insisted it had adhered to all decrees from the regulator, and accused Elige of disregarding its license conditions by carrying international traffic instead of local calls.

“It is illegal to allow such international voice traffic to be terminated by a locally licensed operator into another network through the local interconnection link,” Safaricom wrote.

Safaricom which is jointly owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone, has since secured a momentary delay of the fine pending a hearing before an industry committee.

On the assumption that the fine is certified, it would be the largest ever imposed by the telecoms regulator.

The regulator further reiterated that Safaricom was short of answers when quizzed about the accusation.

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