I thought that Telkom ought to have taken the lead in providing fixed wireless lines to customers across the country as it has been the leading telephone services provider in offices and homes for decades. But alas Safaricom and Airtel have beaten it in this sector and now they are planning to make a late entrance.
Telkom wireless lines have existed for sometime now but there hasn’t been any aggressive move to list as many offices and homes into the wireless services yet this is the sector that Telkom should have been the leader with a huge margin. Though late, they are now planning to move those in landlines to the fixed wireless connection in an attempt to reduce reliance on cables that are prone to vandalism.
“As part of our greater network transformation programme, our customers on our fixed wire line service will be able to migrate with their numbers to the wireless version of our fixed voice service,” said Mr Ghossein in statement.
This move will see the cost of making calls within the network lower to Kshs. 2 per minute down from Kshs. 6. Calling other networks will reduce to Shs. 3 per minute down from the current Shs. 12 per minute. To facilitate the move, Telkom plans to offer fixed wireless sets at Kshs. 4,500 that it hopes will entice customers to swift from their current landlines to the fixed wireless lines given the lower calling rates that come with the fixed wireless connections.
The latest data from the industry regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya, indicates that the number of fixed landlines declined to 70,390 in September last year from 148,816 in a similar period in 2011. If Telkcom is not the beneficiary of the decline that it means most customers are moving from fixed landline to wireless products offered by the rival firms.