Orange Kenya has said it will no longer operate its CDMA network in the country.
The decision has been arrived at after a thorough review of the business’s product and solution offering as well as the infrastructure that supports the company’s network, with the long term view of ensuring viability and further improving the quality of service to its customers.
The company’s CEO, Vincent Lobry, says that the switch over to GSM from CDMA should be complete by the end of Q1, 2015.
“CDMA technology is no longer able to favourably compete with 3G and LTE, its evolving GSM component. Moreover, CDMA is fast becoming obsolete around the world and the maintenance of the same will not be a simple affair for any telco in the mid and long term,” he says. “This switch over will allow us to focus our strategic effort on the advancement of GSM technology in this market,” he adds.
The company will swap the CDMA network (Orange wireless) with its existing GSM network (Orange Mobile) in areas where CDMA was the only available option, as it continues to expand its 3G network across the country.
“An additional 41 towns/ urban centres will be open by the end of Q1, 2015,” says Lobry.
With the change over from the CDMA network, customers that enjoyed services via that platform will be able to migrate with their CDMA numbers (e.g. 020-XXXXXXX), onto a GSM SIM card. For the affected CDMA (Orange Wireless) and EVDO (Modem) customers, depending on their line consumption in 2014 and to an eligibility criterion, they will benefit from the company’s Device Subsidy Policy, to a range of vouchers; from KSh 500 to KSh 10,000.
“The amount that one is eligible to, will be discounted from any GSM product purchased from Orange shops. This device subsidy applies to all our prepaid voice and EVDO customers as well as our postpaid customers. In addition, our postpaid customers will be migrated in bulk by the end of March 2015,” says Lobry.
Lobry further stated that the company is already recording impressive results from this network expansion and migration from CDMA to GSM. Moreover, the company’s data unit recorded 50% growth in the last quarter of 2014.