SMSGH In The News – Ghana’s SMSGH Gets Telecom VAS License In Kenya

January 27, 2014 | 5 minutes read

Nairobi, Kenya — Ghana’s multiple-award-winning mobile value-added service (VAS) provider, SMSGH has been granted a Telecoms VAS license in Kenya.

The license was granted by the Kenyan telecoms industry regulator, the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), and it allows SMSGH to provide its full range of mobile VAS and online payment services in that country.

The company has so far set up an office in Kenya and hired local talents who are already serving some SMSGH corporate clients in Ghana who also have operations in Kenya. It has also attracted a few individual clients in that country already.

Kenya is one of the most developed telecoms markets in Africa with four telecom operators commanding over 30 million subscribers representing almost 80% mobile penetration. Kenya is the world’s leading mobile money market and it has thousands of VAS providers, which present huge competition for any new entrant.

But General Manager of SMSGH Alex Adjei-Bram told ADOMBUSINESS said they are fully aware the Kenyan market is highly competitive but “we are not in the least scared because even though there are thousands of VAS providers, practically none of them combines a range of services to provide a one-stop-shop experience for customer like SMSGH does.”

He said the license allows SMSGH to “provide the entire array of our messaging services and the premium services as well. They include premium content, shortcodes, and bulk SMS. It also gives us access to be able to gain connectivity to other channels like USSD, voice, and indeed the legal backing to provide any of our services in Kenya.”

“We know that we will be the only company in Kenya that does mobile and web technology with a 360 approach. We are in mobile payments, we provide content services, we are in business solutions and we provide messaging solutions. I don’t think there is any company in Kenya right now that has all these solutions that we have,” he said confidently.

Bram explained that most of the VAS providers in Kenya specialize in one service or the other but SMSGH is going in as a player that provides synergies in the various VAS spaces so anyone who goes to SMSGH would get bulk messaging, shortcodes, entertainment, mobile payment and even customized corporate/business solutions where necessary.

“We are primarily going into Kenya to learn and grow because Kenya is fast becoming the telecoms hub in Africa – but what we also find is that even though there are lots of VAS players there is little innovation in terms of breaking out of the box to provide a combination of services under one roof – so we are motivated by that as well,” he said.

In Kenya, SMSGH would be providing services through its leading and all-new MyTXTBox bulk messaging platform, which recorded a 53% increase in traffic after a recent update and now seeing traffic from Nigeria, Kenya, and from out the African continent.

It is also going with its Jamfon, on which users are able to download/purchase entertainment content like songs (ring tones), wallpapers, funny videos, SMS alerts (bibles, dating, etc), and others. Jamfon currently has over five million customers and is recording over 100 million transactions every month. It has the biggest subscriber base at SMSGH.

The company would also be providing service on its award-winning online payment platform – MPower, which is currently gaining huge traction around the world because of its high level of fraud detection. MPower currently boasts of over 20,000 accounts and processes over GHC2 million worth of transactions every month.

With SMSGH in the Kenyan market, corporate Kenya also stands to benefit from customized messaging services to give their customers a better experience.

Alex Adjei-Bram said the company also has operations in Cameroun and has recently started in Nigeria as well, adding that the plan is to operate from the strategic markets on the continent and reach other parts of the continent from there.

Localized Location Services

Bram said this year the company would focus on location-based services (LBS), where customers can find traffic information when they need it, share their location with others, and locate their friends without having to go through traditional platforms like GPRS and GPS.

He explained that the system will use the local resources of mobile networks outside of 3G system, saying that LBS uses cell site information to track things and people. It would help people to know what is happening at home while they are in the office just via the use of a modem. It will help to track relations, cars, and other things outside GPRS and therefore not expose one’s information to a third party.

The company is currently working with some consultants and partners from South Africa to develop the location-based service.

“LBS is not as developed as GPRS but it works wherever there is network coverage and so it works fine at a lesser rate,” he said.

SMSGH is currently one of Ghana’s leading Mobile VAS providers, working on the platforms of almost all the telcos in Ghana to provide bulk messaging, business solutions, content, and payment solutions to banks, insurance companies, events organizers, shops, restaurants, media houses and individuals both here and abroad.


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