Jamii Telecom has applied to register trademarks for payments and mobile money services, signalling plans of venturing into this lucrative segment of the telecom business.
The June 2017 edition of the Industrial Property Journal shows that Jamii Telecom, which operates the Faiba brand, has applied for five new trademarks including Faiba Money, Faiba Mobile and Faiba Pay.
Jamii Telecom chairman Joshua Chepkwony in an interview said the company is moving to protect its brand through the new trademarks. He added that Jamii had not sought regulatory approvals for mobile money but did not rule out offering the services in the future.
“At this point that is not our focus… At this stage we don’t think we are interested in the issue of mobile money. I can’t tell you what happens in the future,” said Mr Chepkwony.
Jamii’s entry will step up competition in the sector.
Mobile network operators Airtel, Telkom Kenya and Safaricom, have protested the issuance of 4G frequencies to Jamii Telecom arguing that the government had promised to auction these resources in an open and fair process.
According to the Industrial Property Journal, the company has also sought to trademark a 4G Internet brand.
The Communications Authority responded by saying the issuance was above board and that Jamii was expected to pay the full spectrum fees once the trial period lapses.
The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), which publishes the journal, gave the public 60 days to protest the new trademarks.