K2 Telecom to launch Data, Roaming services
KAMPALA, February 27 – Buganda kingdom linked K2 Telecom is set to launch data and roaming services as it ends an acrimonious marriage with Africell and enters new carrier contracts with Smart Telecom and Uganda Telecom.
In a public notice today, K2 Telecom warns subscribers of possible interruptions to service during March. 256BN has learned that the anticipated interruptions are related to the migration from one host network to two new hosts and the mounting of new products that could include financial services.
According to sources, Smart Telecom, which will be the principle host, will give the tier two operator, both voice and data carriage. On the other hand, Uganda Telecom will provide roaming services, expanding K2’a reach beyond borders. Because it is a tier two operator, K2’s operator code is not recognized by foreign networks.
It was partly because of such restrictions – refusal to allow K2 offer data and roaming services- that soured relations with Africell. The carrier agreement with Africell officially ends on February28.
Data and roaming are expected to revive K2 Telecom’s fortunes, which have recently been on the wane. Inability to sell products in those two segments had seen sales flag. This had created an air of uncertainty over the telecom with pay cuts announced and senior managers tendering their resignations.
K2 is also expected to announce a new investment program today but details were not immediately available to 256BN.
K2 Telecom launched services three years ago as a tier-two operator using Africell’s predecessor Orange’s infrastructure. Trouble surfaced late 2015 when Africell tried to walk out of the contract and sometimes denying carriage to K2.
Although still largely a niche operator, K2 has established a loyal following that at its peak saw the subscriber base inch past the half a million mark. Sixty-seven percent of this base was active according to the network’s traffic data analysis. Kampala, the main market was originating some 200,000 revenue calls daily. Masaka followed with 80,000, Mubende 40,000 and Jinja 15,000 calls.