The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has asked Safaricom to pay $27 million (Sh2.3 billion) before renewing its operating licence that is due to expire next June.
The regulator has also tied the renewal on Safaricom meeting the quality standards set as the government steps up pressure on the mobile telephone firms to improve service offerings.
The licence was issued on July 1999 for a term of 15 years at a fee of $55 million (Sh4.7 billion)
“I wish to reiterate that the renewal of Safaricom’s licence for a further terms of 10 years shall be subject by to an upfront payment of renewal fee of $27 million,” said Francis Wangusi, the director general of the CCK at a press conference this afternoon.
“The renewal shall be dependent on Safaricom’s commitment to adhere to the set minimum quality of service standards by June 30 2014.”
He added that Safaricom has failed to meet the quality standards over the past three years.
Safaricom will be expected to bid afresh for the license after the 10-year new term along with other firms, raising the possibility of the firm losing the licence to a rival bid.