Orange is turning to mobile data to plug a gap in revenues at its Kenyan subsidiary, after the government imposed cuts on termination rates.
The operator said Telkom Kenya will exploit plummeting data costs achieved as fiber links increase, and will use a finance deal with the country’s Equity Bank to boost the number of internet connected smartphones in subscriber’s pockets.
Local chief Mickael Ghossein says the high cost of mobile devices is a major barrier to web usage in the country, where just three million users are online.
The deal is simple. Equity Bank provides loans to its customers to buy web-enabled handsets from Orange stores.
Around 63.5% of Kenyan homes have a mobile phone, but Ghossein said the number with web-capable devices was likely much lower.
Orange is pinning its hopes on data to make up for lower voice revenues following enforced cuts to mobile termination rates in August that sparked reductions in consumer tariffs.
Ghossein admitted the change had hit the firm’s bottom line, telling Bloomberg that data is becoming the firm’s main driver for the future.