(CA unified license is obsolete) Safaricom renews push for digital broadcast licence

Patrick

Karibu sana. I don’t mind saying that your insights are super useful here.
Asante sana!

Regards

*Ali Hussein*

*Principal*

*AHK & Associates*

Tel: +254 713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo

LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
<ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>

13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,

Chiromo Road, Westlands,

Nairobi, Kenya.

Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
organizations that I work with.

On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 2:46 PM Patrick A. M. Maina <pmaina2000@yahoo.com>
wrote:

> Just noticed that I’m getting responses from you but somehow my original
> posts are not getting published (hence loss of context). A bit
> disconcerting but probably just a message-queuing issue on the list server.
>
> Signing off for the day. Will catch up later/tomorrow.
>
> Otherwise, great discussion! The more diverse the
> thoughts/ideas/perspectives the better. It increases the chance that
> whatever comes out of it, if anything, will be of high quality.
>
> Enjoy your day listers.
>
> On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 2:35:04 PM GMT+3, Ali Hussein <
> ali@hussein.me.ke> wrote:
>
>
> LOL!
>
> Wash, are you finyaing Patrick? 🙂
>
> Regards
>
> *Ali Hussein*
>
> *Principal*
>
> *AHK & Associates*
>
>
>
> Tel: +254 713 601113
>
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>
> Skype: abu-jomo
>
> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> <ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>
>
>
> 13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,
>
> Chiromo Road, Westlands,
>
> Nairobi, Kenya.
>
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 2:32 PM Patrick A. M. Maina <pmaina2000@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
> I have proposed several solutions Ali but they are not going through.
>
> Hoping the moderator(s) is/are neutral in this discussions…
> 🙂
>
> On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 2:23:12 PM GMT+3, Ali Hussein <
> ali@hussein.me.ke> wrote:
>
>
> Patrick
>
> You articulate the problems well. How about you give us some solutions?
>
> Here’s what I think:-
>
> 1. With a bit of help from regulators who focus not just on ‘regulating’
> but enablement of the sector like CA tries to do (not enough but let’s give
> me kudos for trying)
> 2. Punitive response to ‘market failure’ against those who cause that
> failure? (What does that even mean? 🙂
>
> Regards
>
> *Ali Hussein*
>
> *Principal*
>
> *AHK & Associates*
>
>
>
> Tel: +254 713 601113
>
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>
> Skype: abu-jomo
>
> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> <ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>
>
>
> 13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,
>
> Chiromo Road, Westlands,
>
> Nairobi, Kenya.
>
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 1:35 PM Patrick A. M. Maina <pmaina2000@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
> Diversity of ideas is a good thing so I welcome your opposing perspective!
>
> The issue with monopoly or concentration of power goes beyond abuse and
> reactive policies.
>
> When the risk to the economy and national security is so high due to lack
> of diversification, it is imprudent to wait until disaster strikes in order
> to act.
>
> Strategic risk management has both pre-emptive and reactive elements,
> which should be balanced in tandem with exposure and severity.
>
> At the moment CA is heavy on reactive polices, which was good when
> Safaricom was a “start-up”. But things have changed and tables have turned.
> It is now *Government* that needs to protect itself and the public from an
> increasingly powerful Safaricom.
>
> The risks (as outlined in my earlier msg) are too high to ignore. This is
> not about Safaricom, the company, its about prudent management of the
> economy.
>
> One company controls ~6% of the GDP: is the only profitable company in the
> Telecomms sector; is the top single taxpayer; and has an increasingly tight
> grip on multiple sectors of the economy… This is a big RED FLAG for
> anyone conversant with risk management. When stakes are high, you never put
> all your eggs in one basket.
>
> Current status quo is a sign of market failure and a nonexistent
> (stifled/crushed) “silicon savannah” ecosystem!
>
> Again the real elephant here is the macro-level risks of *concentration*,
> the risks of covert abuse of resultant power, and whether the micro-level
> risks of proactive regulation outweigh the macro-level dangers of reactive
> regulation.
>
> Brgds,
> Patrick.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 12:14:40 PM GMT+3, Ali Hussein <
> ali@hussein.me.ke> wrote:
>
>
> Patrick
>
> You and I will never see eye to eye on this matter. I completely agree
> that abuse of ‘monopolistic’ powers is untenable. What I advocate for is a
> delicate balance of regulation, carrot and stick engagement. Take the
> Microsoft issue. Or the Google one. Yes, at some point the powers were
> abused. It is now being addressed by the European Union and if my memory
> serves me correctly the European Union was also at the forefront of
> clipping Microsoft’s wings. The rest the market took care of.
>
> My take is this. Yours is a lazy (forgive me!) way of letting regulators
> off the hook. Regulators the world over unfortunately are still living in
> the age of the Telegram. The CA is probably one of the more progressive
> ones. Instead of denying Safaricom a license put in place measures that
> will ensure they play nice. On pain of revoking the license and including
> punitive fines like the ones the EU slapped on Google.
>
> Let us be circumspect. Look at Zuku. For a long time they had a monopoly
> on the so called Triple Play space. What did they do with it but screw it
> up? For Everyone Safaricom, there is a Zuku. Let us create a playing field
> that is as fair as possible and leave the rest to customers to choose.
>
> My two cowrie cents.
>
> *Ali Hussein*
>
> *Principal*
>
> *AHK & Associates*
>
>
>
> Tel: +254 713 601113
>
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>
> Skype: abu-jomo
>
> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> <ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>
>
>
> 13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,
>
> Chiromo Road, Westlands,
>
> Nairobi, Kenya.
>
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 11:54 AM Patrick A. M. Maina <pmaina2000@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
> I think the CA Unified Licensing regime is obsolete and out of touch with
> modern realities (e.g. net neutrality, anti-trust and power concentration
> concerns) and would urge CA to seriously consider modernizing it.
>
> From a public interest perspective, granting Safaricom a broadcast license
> will be a *major strategic blunder* imo as it will potentially create huge
> headaches later on for Gov, should the need arise to clip Safaricom’s
> powers in public interest.
>
> Governments elsewhere (e.g. US/Europe) are grappling with similar issues
> where ICT firms that were once celebrated national prides & darlings have
> transformed into powerful monopolistic ogres that destroy jobs, stifle
> innovation and destabilise the country (yet can’t be easily towed back to
> line).
>
> Concentration of power into corporations is a major emerging concern
> globally (some are literally taking over governments behind the scenes and
> corrupting democracies for example).
>
> Closer to home, Safaricom already has several “power pieces” in place that
> could potentially evolve into a messy regulatory quagmire for GoK.
>
> 1. As a dominant communication & data pipe, their uptime/downtime has a
> crucial impact on public well being and national security.
>
> 2. They have an increasingly concentrated grip on kadogo economy thru
> MPESA.
>
> 3. They want to do “everything” (comms, data pipe, content, health apps,
> agri apps, edu apps, media, cctv, ewallets etc) and they don’t shy away
> from using their market power and resources to create an uneven playing
> that stifles startups and innovators. This has, imo, resulted in a choked
> “silicon savannah” ecosystem that has failed to take off, denying the
> country billions in FDI, limiting jobs creation and lowering Kenya’s status
> as a viable innovations hub.
>
> Microsoft in the 90s was caught making similar power moves and if they
> were not regulated via an anti-trust clampdown, tiny briefcase startups
> like Google would not have had a chance to grow. Clipping Microsoft
> resulted in a *bigger pie* and led to significantly more revenue for the US
> government.
>
> Is it really plausible that one company can have total monopoly on ICT
> innovations, at scale, in the entire country (or is there a trail of local
> innovators who are casualties to giant copycat moves)? The argument that
> regulating and limiting Safaricom will be bad for the economy is *false*
> imo. It fails to look at the ecosystem gains. The overall pie will grow and
> everyone, including Safaricom and GoK will gain (as happened with Microsoft
> & US Gov)!
>
>
> qz.com/1317231/what-the-microsoft-antitrust-case-can-teach-us-about-regulating-big-tech/amp/
>
> 3. With GoK heavy reliance on Safaricom as the *only” profitable telecomms
> company that is a top taxpayer, the exchequer has placed all its eggs in
> one basket, which is very risky and unwise.
>
> “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is an adage that rings true in
> capitalist markets (because boom bust cycles are *guaranteed* over time,
> because thats just how capitalism works).
>
> There is no company in this world that is immune to boom-bust cycles,
> failure or natural/manmade disasters (including sudden catastrophic failure
> like what happened to former retail superstars Nakumatt & Uchumi – taking
> down thousands of dependent ecosystem businesses with them and
> destabilising the entire sector).
>
> This lack of sector profits / tax diversity is a ticking time bomb for
> GoK. It is one reason advanced economies value sector diversity and create
> room for startups to grow into big companies without being stifled by
> dominant players.
>
> From a national security perspective, Safaricom’s grip on multiple sectors
> make it a risky *concentrated target* (e.g. for espionage, cyber-attack or
> terror attacks) with major consequences for the gov, public and economy in
> general.
>
> All these make Safaricom a *high-risk single point of failure* IMO with
> very limited fallback options, which is really *not* strategically ideal if
> you want a shock-resilient economy.
>
> A default consequence, at the very least, should be a statutory
> requirement for high risk dominant firms to demonstrate national-level
> disaster preparedness and resilience (with independent quarterly audits &
> certification for continuity and resilience).
>
> Anti trust actions should be considered as well to give “Silicon Savannah”
> startups a chance. Separate the ‘pipe” providers, infrastructure providers
> and content/app providers to build resilience and create a conducive
> atmosphere for the overall pie to grow.
>
> Hopefully this shows how dominance is a real problem, even when it is not
> abused.
>
> Good day,
> Patrick.
>
>
> On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 1:25:32 AM GMT+3, Ali Hussein via kictanet <
> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>
>
> Listers
>
> What gives? 3 years to get a license? What is going on?
>
> Safaricom says it will seek answers from the telecoms regulator over the
> three-year delay in issuance of its digital broadcast licence, chief
> executive Bob Collymore has said.
>
> The telco is seeking to venture into commercial free-to-air television
> services as part of triple-play offering plan–TV, internet and fixed line
> telephone services – to homes.
>
> Read on
> <www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/companies/Safaricom-renews-push-for-digital-broadcast-licence/4003102-4837176-15nhi1nz/index.html>
>
> I thought Kenya adopted a Unified License Regime
> <www.bowmanslaw.com/insights/technology-media-and-telecommunications/telecom-regulation-kenya-introduces-a-unified-licensing-framework/>
> way back when… What happened to this?
>
> Can the regulator please inform Kenyans what exactly is holding up
> Safaricom’s license? I’m not holding brief for Safaricom but I think this
> is a public interest issue.
>
> *Ali Hussein*
>
> *Principal*
>
> *AHK & Associates*
>
>
>
> Tel: +254 713 601113
>
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>
> Skype: abu-jomo
>
> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> <ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>
>
>
> 13th Floor , Delta Towers, Oracle Wing,
>
> Chiromo Road, Westlands,
>
> Nairobi, Kenya.
>
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
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