(CA unified license is obsolete) Safaricom renews push for digital broadcast licence

Hi Listers,

I think Patrick’s argument is out of touch with modern realities.

Telco’s moving to content and broadcasting is a natural progression ,just
the same way the phone swallowed regular devices like clocks, calculators,
camera’s and phone books. From an international perspective , Verizon,
AT&T, BT, Telefonica just to name a few have ventured into this.

Research also shows that some of these ventures are not always seamless or
successful and failure is a reality, as is highlighted below
www.ft.com/content/fc17626e-cee5-11e7-9dbb-291a884dd8c6 .

I don’t understand why there is an obsession with fear mongering yet at the
point where we are as a country we need to view our businesses from a
global lens and support the scaling of successful entities. The main issue
today is that we need to create a space for innovation to thrive.


Rosemary Koech-Kimwatu

On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 2:54 PM Ali Hussein via kictanet <
kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

> 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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> for people and institutions interested and involved in ICT policy and
> regulation. The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT
> sector in support of the national aim of ICT enabled growth and development.
>
> KICTANetiquette : Adhere to the same standards of acceptable behaviors
> online that you follow in real life: respect people’s times and bandwidth,
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