Kenya underutilising assigned radio spectrum, says CCK

Thirty percent of the total spectrum allocated for radio broadcasting and twenty three percent of frequencies allocated for TV broadcasting in Kenya are not on air.

This means the current usage of frequencies for broadcasting is not fully efficient as there is demand for spectrum from other broadcasters.

According to the results of a study carried out on behalf of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) by Deloitte the Free To Air (FTA) TV market is not fully competitive particularly in terms of viewing share.

The roll out of Digital platform is expected to remedy the non-competitiveness through increased capacity and thus reduce barriers to entry in the FTA market.

The study recommends that CCK should recall unutilized spectrum from licensees who have no plans of utilizing it. The recalled spectrum should be re-assigned to deserving applicants through a transparent and competitive process.

It further recommends that CCK should clarify to the industry the optimal number of broadcasting signal distributors that can be accommodated in the digital TV spectrum available, and the number of frequencies that each signal distribution licensee is entitled to.

The study found out competition in Pay TV market in Kenya was on the increase especially at the lower end and middle market, making Pay TV services more affordable. Generally, the Pay TV market is however not competitive.

According to the study, there appears to be a significant scope for the size of the Pay TV market to grow, and for new entrants to expand their market share.

The study recommends that CCK continues monitoring the development of competition in the retail Pay TV market with a view to making interventions if effective competition fails to develop.

The results were released today at a workshop held at a Nairobi hotel. CCK commissioned the study last year with view to identifying the various markets within Kenya’s broadcasting industry, and establishing the levels and extent of competition in those markets.

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