What parliament thinks…

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The National Assembly Departmental Committee on ICT last year carried out an inquiry into the Legislative and Regulatory Gaps affecting competition in the Telecommunications Sub-sector in
September last year and published their report this month (available on the national assembly website). The Committee report is set to be tabled before the house for discussion and possible adoption. The report recommends several legislative interventions. Below are 28 such interventions, timeframe for implementation if adopted is indicated in brackets and the implementing bodies are highlighted.

Abbreviations used; CA for Communications Authority, CBK for Central Bank of Kenya and MoICT for Ministry of ICT.

Allocation and use of spectrum
1 Guidelines on Spectrum Allocation – 6 months. (CA)
2 Audit current spectrum management model- 6 months. (CA)
3 Regulations on Spectrum Allocation, Use and Fees and staggered payments for local companies – 6 months. (CA)

4 Investment in infrastructure as a pre-requisite for licensing. No timeline given. (CA )
5 Amendment to KICA to define ‘market share’ with reference to gross revenues.No timeline given. (CA & MoICT)
6 Biennial review and reporting on dominance and competition within the telecoms sub-sector. Every 2 years. CA to report to National Assembly.
7 Pilot national roaming services in Isiolo, Garissa, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Turukana and Wajir counties.- 12 months ( CA)

Broadband Services
8 Critical Infrastructure Bill. No timeline provided. (CA& MoICT)
9 Regulations under Cybercrimes Act to operationalize protection of critical infrastructure under the Act-6 months (CA & MoICT)
10 Use of USF to build passive infrastructure. No timeline provided. (CA)

Call and SMS termination
11 Review current mobile termination rates to zero- 2 years (CA)
12 New KICA Regulations on Fair Competition, Equality of Treatment and Tariffs and Interconnection – 12 months ( MoICT)

USSD & STK Access & rates
13 Guidelines on the Adoption of a unified Sim Application Toolkit with universal access across all MNOs -12 months (CA)
14 Study on USSD fee with a view to lower USSD access Fees- 12 months (CA)
15 Regulations on use of USSD for non-telecom related services. No timeline provided. (CA)

Mobile money services
16 Regulations on mobile money transaction fees- 6 months (CA & CBK)
17 Guidelines on implementing agent interoperability through use of shared technology between mobile money operators- 6 months (CA & CBK)
18 Audit mobile money service compliance with AML and KYC requirements – 6 months (CA&CBK)
19 Audit of compliance with registration of SIM card requirements- 6 months (CA)
20 Regulations on interest rates for mobile money lending- 6 months (CA &CBK)
21 Consumer Protection Regulations requiring express consent to access products and mandatory disclosure of charges- 6 months (CA & CBK)
22 Audit of unregulated fintech firms and compliance with AML- 6 months (CA &CBK)

Telecom infrastructure
23 Regulations on mandatory infrastructure sharing- 6 months (CA)
24 Regulations for telecom infrastructure funded by government agencies- 6 months (CA)
25 Licensing framework to harmonize national and county charges for wayleaves -12 months
(CA, County Governments & Ministry for Roads)

Content Services
26 Mechanism for monitoring CSPs to ensure consumer consent- 6 months (CA)
27 Regulations to manage PRSPs (unsolicited and unwanted SMS)- 6 months. (CA & MoICT)
28 Regulations for licensing of MNOs as CSPs.No timeline provided. (CA)

Whatever the House decides, one thing is for sure- Interesting times ahead.