The Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 (The Act) later revised in 2013, provided the framework for regulating the communications sector in Kenya. The Act was enacted to strengthen the Postal and Telecommunications Sector Policy Statement (the Policy Statement), which had been issued by the then Ministry of Transport and Communications in January 1997. The Government of Kenya revised the Policy Statement in 1999, and again in March 2006. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is responsible for the development and implementation of policies and strategies concerning telecommunications services in Kenya. Kenya’s first National broadband strategy (NBS) was envisaged for implementation between 2013 and 2017 to provide quality broadband for everyone. The strategy set minimum broadband speeds of 40Mbps for urban areas and 5Mbps for the rural areas by 2017. The infrastructure, connectivity and devices strategy included; Availing sufficient spectrum for Wireless Broadband Networks, Government-sponsored PPPs to fund infrastructure development, Use of Universal Service Fund to extend broadband network penetration, and to Enhance regulatory oversight concerning the quality of service.
As of 2019, there are no exemptions for non-profit organisations under the current licensing framework.
Technical and Administrative Requirements
As of 2017, Kenya has adopted a unified licensing framework.
|Initial Fee (Ksh)||Annual Fee (Ksh) fixed fee or % of annual gross turnover, whichever is greater|
|Network Facilities Provider|
| Tier 1- NFP|
This licence allows a licensee to deploy communication infrastructure, using any technology, countrywide with the main difference that it allows for a national spectrum reservation and allocation particularly for the mobile services.
|15M (USD140K)||0.4% or 4M (USD37K)|
| Tier 2 - NFP|
This licence category also allows a licensee to deploy communication infrastructure countrywide, using any form of technology, only that spectrum allocation is regional and not national.
|15M (USD140K)||0.4% or 800K (USD7.4K)|
| Tier 3 - NFP|
This licence allows a licensee to deploy communication infrastructure within a county using any form of technology except Satellite Communications because of its borderless nature. Spectrum is also allocated regionally.
|200K (USD1800)||0.4% or 160K (USD1.5K)|
|International Network Facilities Provider (Includes MVNOs, Vehicle Tracking, ccTLDs)|
|Submarine Cable Landing License||15M (USD140K)||0.4% or 4M (USD37K)|
|International Gateway License||15M (USD140K)||0.4% or 800K (USD7.4K)|
|Non-Infrastructure Based Service Providers|
|Application Service Provider||100K (USD900)||0.4% or 80K (USD740)|
|Content Service Provider||100K (USD900)||0.4% or 80K (USD740)|
|Electronic Certification Service Provider||100K (USD900)||0.4% or 80K (USD740)|
|Terminal Equipment Providers|
|Telecom Terminal Equipment Contractors||7500 (USD70)||3K (USD27)|
|Telecommunications Technical Personnel||1000 (9USD)||500 (USD5)|
|Private Very Small Aperture Terminal|
|VSAT Operators Through Foreign Hub Operations||N/A||100K (USD915) per VSAT Terminal|
More details can be found in the pdf document Telecommunications Market Structure Under The Unified Licensing Framework 20171)
The licensing process commences with the submission of a duly completed application form2)
Below are details of the minimum requirements for acceptance of an application of each type of license and applicable fees:
Applicants for commercial licenses should meet the following minimum conditions:
- The entity should be registered in Kenya as a company, sole proprietor or partnership.
- Have a duly registered office and permanent premises in Kenya.
- Provide details of shareholders and directors.
- Issue at least 20% of its shares to Kenyans on or before the end of three years after receiving a license.
- Provide evidence of compliance with the tax requirement.
Requirements for ordinary vendor applicants are:
- A letter signed by company CEO, on company letter-head, asking for authorization to sell low power equipment.
- The letter must provide contact details such as physical and postal addresses, telephone numbers, emails, etc. for the company.
- Indicate the type and model of equipment to be sold.
- Attach company Certificate of Incorporation or registration certificate copy to the letter.
- Attach a copy of the company PIN Certificate.
License fees and license periods are determined based on the market segment to be serviced and include;
- Application fees,
- Initial operating fees
- Annual operating fees,
- Fees for spectrum access
- Annual spectrum fees.
Annual Licence fees are subject to a monthly interest of 2% which remains unpaid, 90 days after the due date. https://ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Procedure-for-Licensing-Telecommunication-Services.pdf
Access to Spectrum
Technical and Administrative Requirements
|Operator||700 MHz||800 MHz||900 MHz||1800 MHz||2100 MHz||2300 MHz||2600 MHz||3500MHz|
|Open Systems Tech.||2X7|
|Frequency||Power Limit (EIRP)||Power Spectral Density (mW / MHz)|
|2400 – 2483.5 MHz||100 mW|
|5150-5250 MHz||200 mW|
|5250-5350 MHz||200 mW|
|5470-5725 MHz||1 W||Max mean EIRP density of 50 mW / MHz in any 1 MHz band|
|5725-5800 MHz||25 mW|
More complete documentation on the use of short range devices3)
Spectrum Fees / Costs
NOFBI Tranmission Network
Liquid Telecom Kenya
Bandwidth & Cloud Services Group
Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC)
Women’s Empowerment in Kenya - Developing a Measure4)
This document presents the development and the first use of the inaugural measure of women's empowerment in Kenya – the Women's Empowerment Index (WEI). The study, developed by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in partnership with the State Department for Gender, UN Women, and UNICEF, is “the first comprehensive and systematic measure” for women’s and girls’ empowerment in Kenya, according to a press release about the launch.
UN Women’s Women Count project
The Women Count project, which began in 2018, takes a three-pronged approach to improving gender statistics, by: creating an enabling environment, increasing data production, and improving data accessibility and use.
National Policy on Gender and Development5)
The National Policy on Gender and Development includes a section (4.12) on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) that identifies the goal of harnessing ICT as a tool for broader strategies and programmes to create opportunities for empowerment of women and men and includes the following policy actions:
- Collect and disseminate gender data on ICT access and use to inform policy and decision making;
- Identify, promote and document good practices and lessons learned to bridge the gender divide in the use of ICT;
- Promote inclusion of ICT and STEM education in mid-level tertiary institutions; and,
- Promote the roll out of operational digital villages/ICT hubs and ‘biashara centres’ across the 47 counties to ensure access to ICT services by men and women.
National Gender and Equality Commission https://www.ngeckenya.org/
The Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act, 2009, provides for the establishment of a Universal Service Fund (USF), administered and managed by the Communications Authority of Kenya. The purpose of the Fund is to support widespread access to ICT services, promote capacity building and innovation in ICT services in the country.
The sources of the Fund include levies on licensees, appropriations from Government as well as grants and donations. The Fund, currently being put in place, is expected to finance national projects that have significant impact on the availability and accessibility of ICTs in rural, remote and poor urban areas.
The Role Of Cooperatives in Social and Economic Development of Kenya and Actions Required to Accelerate Growth and Development of the Sector in Africa (21 May 2019) https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/06/Otieno.pdf
10 Lessons from Kenya’s Remarkable Cooperatives (4 May 2015) https://www.shareable.net/10-lessons-from-kenyas-remarkable-cooperatives/
Co-operatives play key roles in rural development (25 Aug 2010) https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/the-standard/article/2000016712/co-operatives-play-key-roles-in-rural-development
CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES ACT (Rev 2012) http://www.kenyalaw.org/kl/fileadmin/pdfdownloads/Acts/Co-operativeSocietiesActCap490.pdf
Resources / References
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