The latest entrant into Kenya's mobile phone telephony Jamii Telecom Ltd (JTL) has refuted claims that it only paid Sh100,000 and that it had been "gifted" with a licence worthy a whopping Sh5.2bn following the Daily Nation lead story on May 11, 2017.
JTL CEO and Chairman Mr Joshua Chepkwony (pictured centre) Thursday hit back saying all major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) namely Safaricom, Airtel and Orange had been issued with 4G or LTE after exploration prior to paying the hefty fees.
"JTL was granted a trial license after fulfillment of set authorised terms and conditions including payment of $25 million (Sh2.6 billion) spectrum fees. Therefore, there is no underhand dealings as alleged by the Daily Nation", said Mr Chepkwony.
Turning the heat on market leader Safaricom, he said "the dominant player Safaricom has already enjoyed 2 years on 4G/LTE prior to paying for the license."
Mr Chepkwony said if granted a license, his firm will break the existing market dominance adding Jamii Telecoms will make telecommunication services (voice and data) affordable to the average Kenyan.
In the Daily Nation expose, and in a letter to Communications Authority (CA) director general Mr Francis Wangusi, Mr Aldo Mareuse, the chief executive officer of Telkom Kenya,claimed the CA had previously promised to offer the 700MHz band “through a competitive auction process”
Last year, the CA awarded three trial spectrum licences in the 800MHz to the three MNOs who hold a tier 1 licence and each paid Sh2.5 billion.
In a letter to Mr Mareuse dated May 3, 2017, Mr Wangusi admitted that CA had granted Jamii Telecom “LTE authorisation in the 700MHz”, which means the telco can now operate as a 4G licence holder.