In May 2017, Kenya’s Communication Authority awarded JTL (Jamii Telecommunications Limited) a mobile phone service license on the 700MHz frequency. The award was controversial with other telcos complaining that JTL paid a meagre amount compared to what they paid.
At that time, JTL was said to be simply testing their new offering. Fast forward and the company has unofficially confirmed that indeed 4G is coming. In a memo sent out to customers to inform them of changes in the company’s contacts, JTL mentions that their “new number, 0747 585 100, is a Jamii Telecommunications Limited (“JTL”) mobile number operating on the JTL 4G/LTE network.”
Shining more light on the matter, the memo goes ahead to say, “We will in due course communicate our new product offerings aimed at serving your growing broadband needs.” Draw your attention to the words, “new product” and “broadband needs”. These words point in the direction of JTL getting into the mobile services game.
We are not sure if they will become a fully fledged telco or they will just focus on data, seeing that that is their forte. There have also been pointers that JTL could be looking to get into the mobile money game – a space dominated by M-Pesa but offerings such as Eazzy Pay are slowly but surely catching up, after the company applied for trademarks of the following words: Faiba Pay, Faiba Mobile and Faiba Money.
JTL was quick to deny the claims that they are interested in mobile money, saying that that the trademarks have been listed to protect the Faiba brand. Whether mobile money comes or not, one thing we know for sure, JTL 4G LTE is around the corner.