European Investment Bank grants Telkom Kenya $40 million loan

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Telkom Kenya said it has secured a loan worth $40 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s not-for-profit long term investment arm.

The funding comes at a time the telecoms firm, which is the third biggest operator in Kenya is trying to gain market share by expanding its mobile and data services.

According to EIB and Telkom, the fund will be used to improve and expand Telkom Kenya’s network. The credit agreement will be extended partially in U.S. dollars and partially in Kenyan shillings.

The telecoms firm has been focusing on data to try to win customers. In October, Telkom Kenya said it was in talks with two unidentified parties over partnerships to allow it to sell high speed internet capacity from two undersea data cables that are about to connect to the country.

Mugo Kibati, Telkom’s Chief Executive said the funds supported Telkom’s goal of being Kenya’s preferred data network.

Speaking to reporters, EIB Vice President, Ambroise Fayolle said “in terms of how mobile services are used, we could say that Kenya is ahead of Europe, and both the market and possibilities are growing fast. We are happy to support Telkom’s growth strategy in expanding its 3G and 4G networks across the country”.

Telkom Kenya, which has 60 percent-owned by London-based Helios Investment with the rest held by the Kenyan government, had 4.1 million users, about 9 percent of the market, as of July 2018. The telecoms firm claims to have the cheapest data plan in the market, offering 2 gigabyte for 99 shillings.

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