Dec Jan Feb Mar April 2014

Telkom Kenya Orange

The mobile telephony landscape the world over is constantly awash with controversies if not cutthroat competition among service providers. This is owing to the near-endless revenue generating opportunities that the sector provides. The sector has diversified so fast that it has become competition, nay, a threat to other sectors: For instance, mobile money transfer is ‘eating’ into conventional methods so rapidly that companies in the field have to rethink strategy or run out of business altogether. And now Mobile Banking has become a reality. But there are other dynamics that impact the sector too; key among them, Mobile Termination Rates (MTR).'As Mickael Ghossein the CEO, Telkom Kenya-Orange observes, “The debate on MTRs has totally shifted from the real issues on the ground; MTRs—to the operators—have their own set of impacts affecting revenues and eventually the economy of a country. Operators are compelled to restructure their business models, wh

ich may at times result in a review of a company’s head count.” He adds that it is imperative that this debate be moved back to the pertinent issues that will bring it to a conclusive yet acceptable end: Pricing is the key issue here. This is what needs to be reviewed to make sure that operators are able to invest more into improving the value proposition to customers. “To this end, Orange’s shareholders have been in discussion; as we speak, the Government of Kenya has contributed Ksh. 2.4 billion while France Telecom has contributed Ksh. 5.1 billion,” he divulges.  'Orange has been constantly repositioning itself in the market through innovations and development of service provision platforms. The recent Phimetrics Quality of Service report says the company has the best voice quality as well as data speeds in Nairobi of which the CEO notes, “The Phimetrics Report was an affirmation of the continuous investment that Orange has put into its gro

wth strategy; that we as an organisation improve on our human resource on the one hand; working towards improving their skills set as well as bolstering our infrastructural resource to international standards.” This is being replicated across the board to make sure that all the company’s customers across the country continue to enjoy good service.'With mobile money transfer service being in vogue, Orange has been researching and developing products that have seen its customer base grow rapidly. “We currently have slightly over 150,000 customers on Orange Money. These numbers grew especially after the launch of the VISA debit card that enables customers to carry out online transactions,” reveals the CEO. The company has also launched corporate mobile money solutions that allow corporate entities to run payments directly from their bank accounts.'Orange has also been on the forefront of complying with regulatory statutes that the government has been drafting t

o regulate the ever growing mobile telephony sector. Among these is the recent requirement by the Communication Commission of Kenya that mobile service providers disable fake phones. “Orange has a system that detects counterfeit phones and blackmails their IMEI codes. Data on the number of counterfeit phones is being compiled. Communication was sent to our customers informing them of the imminent switch off; we also took time to advise them on how to confirm the authenticity of their handsets,” Mr. Ghossein offers.  The company also launched the “Buy Origi” campaign whose main objective was to provide affordable and genuine handsets for its consumers.'With data market being predicted by industry analysts as the next frontier of competition, Mr. Ghossein declares that, “Data will be king.” Orange has been at the fore front of this awareness creation. The company recently reviewed its data offering and pricing to remain competitive in the market

. “The primary review of our data offering was more on alignment of data bundle prices for both our GSM and CDMA networks; we wanted to bring uniformity to both networks,” expounds the CEO.  He adds that while the company appreciates the positive uptake of its unlimited offerings on the network by its customers, the increased level of investment and expansion that it has already begun necessitated the price reviews. This review took into consideration the quality of service that the company offers to customers vis-a-vis the cost of continued upgrade of its transmission backbones, networks, the cost of fuel (energy), the wage bill as well as the overall cost of running the business.'Orange has strategised to continue with its focus on data in the coming year; this is in line with the Conquest 2015 industrial project that was launched by the France Telecom Group early last year. Orange aims to be the operator that will democratise access to the digital future.  &l

dquo;We are committed to making digital life easier for our customers on a daily basis. The underlying goal will be towards increasing the value proposition to the customer thereby realising retention,” proffers Mr. Ghossein'On growth Mr. Ghossein states, “Our continuous investment and expansion will greatly improve customer experience as we forge ahead in positioning Orange as the preferred broadband provider in this market. We still maintain the most attractive proposition in the market through our versatile internet offers and high quality service.”  To this end, Orange has so far invested Ksh. 40 billion in building a robust mobile network in the country and in the coming months intends to invest a further Ksh. 4 billion in order to expand its network further.'To add value to the services that Orange offers its customers, the company recently launched an advance credit top up facility that goes to enable customers call even when they do not have cash in h

and to purchase airtime. Dubbed PEWA, the facility is an ideal service that provides advance credit to subscribers, payable within 24 hours with no interest charged. “So far, this service is doing well. Our customers are now able to access airtime at their own convenience without the need of locating a sales point in case of an emergency. This has led to an increase in airtimes sales,” notes the CEO. This service has also enhanced the list of comprehensive offerings that complement Orange’s products and services. It is a boost to the Orange Ziada loyalty programme that has been tailor-made to meet the individual needs of the Orange customer. The company’s customers currently enjoy a host of bonus options including airtime, data, off-net and on-net SMS, as well as free value-added services ranging from video, music and ringtone downloads

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