COFEK wants Kenyan MVNO licences revoked

COFEK wants Kenyan MVNO licences revoked

The Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has gone to court seeking to have three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences awarded in April revoked, with the case certified as urgent and a hearing set for June 26.

HumanIPO reported in April the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) issued MVNO licences to Finserve Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Equity Bank, Zioncell Kenya Limited and Tangaza’s Mobile Pay Limited, with the three companies entering into an agreement to use Airtel’s infrastructure.

COFEK has launched the action against the licences as it says the process was not lawful as there was no stakeholder and public consultation, “which goes against the spirit of public participation as per the Constitution of Kenya”.

The group said the CAK “allocated scarce national resources entrusted to them such as numbering resources in an opaque process without public tender or, at the very least, following a fair and transparent or any known allocation process, noting as the Petitioner knows that this is the very first time the MVNOs services are being introduced in Kenya and the region”.

COFEK said there have been no practical assurances on loss of service or safeguarding consumers from the bad service associated with mobile service providers.

“Specifically there have been no assurances on the possible and potential “pyramid schemes” like scandals as witnessed on numerous occasions in the past,” said COFEK.

Despite the action, COFEK said it was not opposed to the introduction of MVNOs in Kenya, but said the process must be open, allow public participation and be seen to have the interest of the consumer at heart.

Lady Justice Mumbi Ngungi has certified the case as urgent and scheduled a hearing for June 26.


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