Should BK venture into telecoms?

Given Airtel’s reportedly ongoing divestiture and retreat from non-core Sub-Sahara Africa markets, wouldn’t it make good business sense for BK/BK TecHouse to throw them an offer to acquire its assets together with its 1.5m customers?

Editor,

RE: “What is Bank of Kigali’s TecHouse up to? CEO Rugemanshuro explains” (The New Times, June 5).

 

Given Airtel’s reportedly ongoing divestiture and retreat from non-core Sub-Sahara Africa markets, wouldn’t it make good business sense for BK/BK TecHouse to throw them an offer to acquire its assets together with its 1.5m customers?

 

In so doing, BK would spin off BK Telecom – unleashing a 1.5m user-base fully operational telecom enterprise (and growing), to let rip in the voice and data market segment.

 

And given the augmented symbiosis in the BK Group of companies (BK/BKGI/BK TecHouse), product cross-selling, operational efficiencies, economies of scale, would be some of the many synergies borne out of this multi-prong BK platform.

The alternative would be a piecemeal entry into the frothy and high margin telecoms sector via acquisition of an MVNO license to ride off USSD (unstructured supplementary service data packets for those without smartphones – the GSM “uninterneted”), while also servicing the well-heeled urban class via ISP market reach.

BK acquiring Airtel...just a wild thought at this stage.

Not sure if the business case holds firm though. Otherwise it appears BK TecHouse would be far much more effective in fashioning out all manner of digital products for the Rwandan marketplace if it actually owned and operated a fully-fledged telecom service platform/infrastructure so as to be more cost effective and lean, as opposed to relying on partnering with the few licensed telecoms (MTN/Tigo/Airtel) for onward end-user product delivery via mobile.

This is Safaricom’s playbook.

Ggwanga Mujje

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