Telkom Kenya has been in transition for quite some time now. This includes the exit of French owners Orange and entry of Helios by the sale of 70 percent stake they had in the company by Orange to Helios Investment Partners.
Telkom Kenya has previously announced plans to rebrand this year and drop the Orange Kenya brand to what is yet to be announced or speculated. Telkom Kenya is currently at number three among mobile network operators in Kenya behind leaders Safaricom and Airtel Kenya.
This is despite being the oldest mobile network operator in the days of fixed line telephony and the onset of mobile telephony. Safaricom went ahead to innovate their way up to the top. Airtel also came in, with previous brand names and owners to take second spot. And there has been a clear need for shift in strategy.
The new CEO Aldo Mareuse, at Connected Kenya 2017 announced a bold vision to transform the ‘sleeping giant’ that is Telkom Kenya. “Most of you are used to hearing Telkom Kenya being referred to as the sleeping giant. We have a plan. In a few months we will announce a relaunch,” said Aldo Mareuse. The relaunch will include a rebrand and announcement of new products and strategies to take them to the future. Mr. Aldo also mentioned that Telkom Kenya will be launching 4G “in a few months”.
Orange Money has been doing really badly, and in the most recent Communications Authority quarterly statistics report, the mobile money service barely hit the 200,000 user mark with a measly 31000 transactions, the smallest activity among the 5 active players. Leader Mpesa has 21.5 million subscribers and 356.7 million transactions within the quarter.
Aldo mentions that they will be announcing a new mobile financial platform that will have many more services that we haven’t yet seen right now. Their objective being to improve financial inclusion for Kenyans alongside the theme of this year’s theme of Connected Kenya of ‘Shaping the future of Kenya’. Telkom Kenya will also invest in several other things including submarine cables and fiber connectivity.