Where is the fourth Wireless Company in Kenya? What happened to Econet?

The other mobile Phone company Econet.We all know that Econet was licensed some years back. I wonder what happened after that since I have not heard about their services. Right now there are only three cellphone competitors in Kenya Safaricon, Telkom wireless, and Celtel. My sources tell me that the fourth license was granted to the Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC) .  KNFC was given this license by the government for “FREE”. However, KNFC has been unable to get financing from its members organization to pay for the license fees that the GoK needs. My source tell me after KNFC was unable to secure funding they went out looking for Partner and this is where the story gets Murky! I am told the KNFC had the license but it ended in the hands of ECONET! So KNFC has been demanding 70% of the shareholding in the Econet Consortium but the courts have ruled in the favor of econet South Africa. So my questions are?What percentage of shareholding does Kenyans under KNFC own? Who are the other members of the econet consortium? Is it possible that there is Mobitela type of transactions in this Deal?How did CCK award KNFC the license? Under the guise that the license was going to econet 


3 thoughts on “Where is the fourth Wireless Company in Kenya? What happened to Econet?

  1. njamba says:



    Battle continues for control of Econet
    Pan-African mobile holding company Econet Wireless International (EWI) has delivered an ultimatum to its partner in Kenya’s third mobile operator Econet Kenya – give us 51% of the company or we will pull out of the venture altogether. EWI currently holds a 10% stake in the Kenyan operation, which was awarded its concession last September after bidding alongside local partner Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC). Whilst it remains unclear the size of the stake taken by KNFC in Econet Kenya, the two parties have now locked horns over EWI’s demands, despite allegedly signing a memorandum of understanding prior to receiving the licence under which EWI would be granted majority control of Econet Kenya. KNFC director Apollo Kihara told reporters recently ‘We have not agreed to give EWI the 51% stake because the issue has not been discussed by the various management boards before approval’.

  2. njamba says:

    Kenya: More Econet Licensing Hurdles
    Wednesday, 13 December 2006
    The dispute over Econet’s mobile license has moved to a new stage after the High Court rejected attempts to block the Government from issuing frequencies to Econet.
    The Kenya National Federation of Cooperatives (KNFC) sought to block the Government, through the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), from granting the spectrum required for Econet to roll out its network. KNFC is a partner in a consortium that won the third mobile operator license, after Safaricom and Celtel. The licensing procedure has been embroiled in controversy.

    On Monday, a High Court Judge instead issued temporarily orders stopping KNFC’s action against Econet until another case filed in the Court of Appeal is heard and determined. The judge said his court and the Court of Appeal could not listen to the two applications at the same time for fear of reaching different decisions that may dent the credibility of the court.

    Among the issues in dispute is the local shareholding in the consortium, where KNFC is demanding a 70% stake.


  3. njamba says:

    think you info is stale. econet crooks and their partners settled their issues out of court and later with cck late last year. now they are suppose to be rolling out soon – i heard they are recruiting now.

    maigwa (guy who use to head kma-kenya manufacturer assoc) and kirinyanga buddies as fronted by co-op minster thro knfc & saccos are the local agent.

    for me mobitelea, titanium and other big project that kibaki has been unable to get off the ground goes to demonstrate that sometime mobitilea of biwwot fame ( turkwell and other mega project during moi) era sometimes work.

    sometime you need a mobitelea to assist in ‘local knowledge and connection’ esp cutting the red tape.

    kibaki’s regime has seen the worst fdi esp as regard to big project…i’m still scratching my head to find one.

    with moi there were many-safcom, kencell (moi got his % thro meralli), EPZ, titanium (before narc came in and took ngo nonsese seriously), sondu miiru, olkaria i & ii.

    kibaki is yet to execute ONE MEGA PROJECT

    Last edited by RV Pundit (Today 08:28:00)


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