France Telecom has teamed up with the Kenyan government to launch a new mobile network in the east African country.
State-owned fixed-line provider, Telkom Kenya, has invested over $80 million in upgrading its infrastructure to provide mobile services.
It has decided to work with France Telecom – better known by its brand name, Orange – to launch the new mobile network.
The joint venture, branded telkomkenya, is 51% owned by France Telecom, and 49% owned by the Kenyan state.
It is the third mobile operator to launch in the country, and aims to end the dominance of rivals Safaricom and Zain, who currently share Kenya’s 11 million mobile subscribers.
Safaricom is 40% owned by UK-based operator Vodafone.
In November another new network – Econet Wireless Kenya Ltd – will launch in Kenya, giving telkomkenya an additional competitor.
France Telecom now has operations in 13 African countries.