Safaricom names Sitoyo Lopokoiyit as M-Pesa Africa managing director

KENYA – Telecommunications company Safaricom has appointed Sitoyo Lopokoiyit as the M-Pesa Africa managing director effective April 1, 2021. Lopokoiyit has been the Chief Financial Services Officer of Safaricom for the last three years. In an announcement, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said Safaricom will initiate the relevant talent sourcing processes to identify and appoint the next Financial Services leaders in due course but meanwhile, he will continue discharging the functions of the chief financial services office. Lopokoiyit joined Safaricom PLC from 1st April 2018, having previously served as…

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Safaricom switches on 5G technology across Kenya

KENYA – Leading telecommunication company Safaricom has announced the launch of trials for the trail-blazing 5G technology for its customers which will begin with both individual and enterprise customers in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega towns in Kenya. As part of its trial, the company plans to expand the number of such 5G sites to more than 150 across nine towns over the next 12 months. The primary objective during the trial period will be to establish if customers can enjoy speeds of up to 700 Megabits per second, with…

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PE firm TPG buys stake in Airtel’s mobile money unit for US$191m

AFRICA – Airtel Africa is set to sell an undisclosed minority stake in its Pan-African mobile money business to private equity firm TPG for US$191 million, underlining the huge value of mobile financial service platforms in Africa. The multinational telco announced the transaction through the London Stock Exchange where it is listed. The record-breaking deal values Airtel Money, available in Share sale to private equity comes amid struggle to cut M-Pesa dominance in the Kenyan market and 14 African countries including Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda, at US$2.65 billion. TPG is investing…

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Ethiopian Communicatons Authority shortlists six firms for telco licence

ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopian Communications Authority has shortlisted a consortia of 12 companies that had expressed interest in entering the country’s telecommunications market, one of them being Kenya’s telecom giant Safaricom. The firms will be required to submit their technical and financial bids by April 5, compared with a previous deadline of March 5. The Ethiopian Communications Authority announced that it had received expressions of interest from scores of firms, including telcos and non-telecom operators by June 22 which included the Safaricom consortium, Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company,…

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Nairobi Securities Exchange switches its trading infrastructure to Safaricom

KENYA – Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has shifted from the South Africa’s MTN trading platform to a new one powered by mobile telecommunication giant Safaricom. Safaricom’s bet on trading infrastructure for the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has now opened a new business frontier which analysts reckon could create more opportunities in the region. The successful transitioning to a new state -of-the-art broker connectivity solution powered by Safaricom as the technology partner will provide higher trading platform availability, ensure higher uptime and performance and increase network security,” the bourse said in…

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Online payment services firm Jambo Pay gets greenlight to offer mobile phone services

KENYA -Jambo Pay, an online payments services company, has obtained a license to operate a virtual mobile phone service in Kenya, intensifying competition in the telco sector dominated by market leader Safaricom. Jambo Pay parent firm, Web Tribe Limited revealed it has been awarded a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence by the telecoms regulator Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) effectively allowing it to lease spectrum from mobile network operators and roll out mobile services. Following the nod, the firm which has previously focused on online payment services, said it…

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Telecom giant Safaricom puts 5G rollout on hold

KENYA – Kenya’s mobile phone operator Safaricom has suspended plans for the launch of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile internet service in the country. Safaricom Chief Executive Peter Ndegwa was reported as having said that there is no plan to launch the 5G network in the short-term and that the telco’s immediate plan is to convert millions of 2G and 3G users to 4G. Safaricom had completed testing and trial of the 5G superfast internet service and planned to switch major urban centres to the service before end of 2020. In…

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Safaricom reorganises its management team, banks on tech

KENYA – Telecommunication giant Safaricom, has reorganised its management team in a move it says will further its goal of being a technology-focused firm. Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said that the information technology and network departments have been merged into technology and information organisation and which will be headed by Morten Bangsgaard. Mr Bangsgaard who has more than 26 years of experience in various technology roles in the telecommunications industry, will assume office on January 1, 2021. He joins Safaricom from Maxis, Malaysia where he held a similar…

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Safaricom invests US$ 332.2m on equipment modernization amid surge in voice, data demand

KENYA – East Africa’s telecom giant Safaricom says it has spent US $332.2 million in the 2020 financial year to modernize its equipment in its quest to meet the surge in demand for voice and data triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Speaking during the launch of its Sustainable Business report, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said the company has expanded its reach in the country through 2,284 additional base transceiver stations and added 2,300 kilometres of fibre optic cable. Ndegwa also announced that the company has rolled out sites…

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Kenya’s Safaricom to transform into a tech company, eyes Ethiopian market

KENYA – Kenyan telecoms giant Safaricom is seeking to transform itself into a technology company offering new financial solutions to anyone from small businesses to farmers as it eyes Ethiopian market, CEO Peter Ndegwa told AFP. Listed on the Nairobi Security Exchange market, Safaricom is one of the biggest companies in East Africa with its success fuelled by its mobile money service Mpesa, which was launched in 2007 and has become indispensable in Kenya and a leading money transfer platform in the country and region. Ndegwa, who was named the…

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