Equitel fuels dominance talk

Airtel Africa CEO Christian De Faria (left) with Dr. James Mwangi(RIGHT) Equity bank group CEO when Equity officially launched Equitel the Equity Thin SIM that converts all single sim phones into dual sim phones taken on 20th July 2015. [PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI]

Equity Bank’s mobile money platform Equitel has become the latest player in the telecommunications industry to call for tougher anti-dominance laws.

This is after Airtel and Telekom Kenya petitioned Parliament last week, calling for stricter regulations against dominance.

Appearing before Parliament’s Departmental Committee on Communication and Information yesterday, Equitel Managing Director Jack Ngare said apart from dominance by a single player, fraud has become another malaise that is killing the sector.

“We have established telcos that have very relaxed guidelines while issuing Subscriber Identification Module (SIM cards),” said Mr Ngare.

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“Fraud on telco services has been on the increase due to lack of due diligence on the telco side and lack of stiffer penalties on the perpetrator’s side. It’s time the Communications Authority got empowered to rein in telcos with relaxed guidelines in terms of issuing Sim cards.” 

He said smaller players should be are allowed to access the network infrastructure of much bigger players so as to have a wider network coverage.

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