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Business Development Manager Report For Google-Safaricom 4g Isp Business Venture In Kenya

1.0  Introduction

Business development is determines to a great extent the success of any business. The business is supposed to obtain a legal registration and also bides itself to meet government regulations that govern the operation of business in the industry of interest. There are various challenges, opportunities and threats that are likely to face the Google-Safaricom 4G ISP business venture in Kenya. Below, there is an analysis of such challenges, their implications, and means of solving them.

2.0  Changing Elements of the Global Environment in Relation to the 4G Internet Services Industry

There are various changing global elements that are affecting the internet market in Kenya. Some of these aspects are hindering ISP businesses from expanding. They are represented in the subsections below.

2.1 Rapidly Changing Technology

Since the introduction of the internet, different companies have been tirelessly working to improve and expand services offered over the internet. This has led to the evolution of internet networks platforms from the 1st generation internet services to the 4th generation internet service, which is currently being adopted. There is no guarantee that 4G will be the last version of the internet platform to be released. This rapid evolution is posing a challenge to the ISP industry because it has to keep upgrading its transmission systems to be able to retain customers. Some of these hardwares are expensive and consumes a huge amount of money. There is also a problem when it comes to the acquisition of such transmission equipment. This is because few companies manufacture boosters and other transmission devices urgently needed by the ISPs. Hence, there is a delay in the supply line of the necessary equipment, especially when a manufacture of equipment for new transmission modes is concerned (Totok 2009).

In addition, there is also a rapid evolution of internet devices to supplement demand as the number of internet users is constantly increasing. In this light, companies have a role to ensure their services are compatible with emerging devices. 

2.2  Emergence of State Legislation

2.2.1 Licensing

With the global increase in the internet use, governments are setting up internet market regulations. Some of these regulations are hindering ISPs from expanding. For instance, the imposition of high duties and taxes on communication equipments and computers has been a problematic issue in the internet marketing industry witnessed globally. The governments are developing internet use and ISP service policies to be observed by ISPs and internet users. In some states, there exist different license categories with distinct guidelines and license fees. The regulator has continually updated applicable guidelines and fees, due to rapid changes in the inter market domain.

To foster the internet use in rural areas, some states usually waive license fees (Totok 2009).

Although a regulation is good, it limits the internet use by illegalizing the sharing of certain materials.

  1. Moral regulations: Apart from license regulations, there exist a set of moral regulations explained below.
  2. Constitutional regulations: these are regulations stipulated in the constitution.
  3. State control regulations: These regulations are adopted by governments that feel they have a responsibility of regulating technically internet content accessible to its citizens. It is one of the adverse regulations because people’s choice to information and expression is limited. Consequently, internet marketers make less revenue, due to the decrease in the number of internet users. For instance, Chinese ISPs are required to keep a record of sites visited to prevent use of pornographic materials, gambling sites, and sites that harm national unification, territorial integrity, and sovereignty. However, such regulations become a bother when the state becomes too regulative.

2.3  Formation of Public Services Regulatory Bodies

Apparently, ISP customers or internet users have little control over the service quality (Totok 2009). Consequently, some internet marketers offer substandard services without minding the consumers who have paid for those services. It is a global wave the in communication industry today. Such reported problems include:

  1. Poor service quality;  
  2. Poor technical supports;
  3. Billing problems;
  4. Long time to resolve connectivity problems;
  5. Weak signals;
  6. Inadequate explanations of interruption problems;
  7. Ethical issues;
  8. Poor customer relationship.

Such problems have forced consumers to form consumer associations, such as the internet market, and the Consumer Protection agency in the European Parliament. These bodies are to ensure ISPs are obligated to provide the best service to their customers that match their subscriptions. ISPs are under pressure to standardize their services.

2.4  Their Impact to New Entrepreneurial Business Venture

The changes in the global environment will affect 4G ISP business in Kenya. The rapid changes in technology pose responsibilities for both marketers and consumers. While marketers have to upgrade their transmission systems, consumers have to upgrade their internet access devices to be able to use the new service platforms. A good percentage of small scale internet users in Kenya using mobile phone devices still utilize 2G internet platforms despite the presence of 3G network platforms (Netcom Information System Ltd 2007). They lack the financial power to buy better devices. The transition from 2G to 3G required consumers to purchase new devices that can receive 3G signals. However, people still have not fully transited to 3G, due to the expensive nature of 3G gadgets in Kenya. Hence, the introduction of 4G technology might take time before all Kenyan people transit to 4G.

The Kenyan government does not impose malicious regulations that adversely affect internet marketers and contents accessibility over the internet. Hence, internet marketers enjoy the freedom of operation. However, users are regulated from making expression that threatens the national security (Netcom Information System Ltd. 2007).

2.5  Industry Related Behavior in Terms of Opportunities and Threats Caused by the Changes

The rapid evolution in technology provides an opportunity for investors that can adjust themselves with changing technology. Thus, they quickly transit to new internet platforms from previous ones. Kenya as an economic spot is experiencing transition from analogue to digital operation, and upcoming technologies are well accepted in the Kenyan market.

The rapidly changing technology poses an opportunity for competitors to penetrate and dominate in the internet market. Hence, a new venture business is likely to face heightened competition as more companies enter the Kenyan internet market (Heckmann 2007).

On the other hand, new technologies are likely to cause failures, due to the ISP limited technical capacity (Totok 2009). Thus, it is vital to ensure operators have adequate knowledge and that there is adequate human resource to operate new technologies to reduce chances of a business failure.

3.0 Assessment of how Government Regulations Influence Policies of the New Business Venture

To establish the new business venture, permission must be sought from the CCK and the government in general. The CCK provides licenses for the public internet access service (ISP), the Internet backbone service (IBS), and the internet exchange point (IXP). So far, the commission has licensed 76 ISPs in Kenya. For the new venture to be registered, it has to meet various standard qualities stipulated by the commission.

The government of Kenya through the CCK plays a role in regulating pricing of internet services and their quality. The commission stipulates that ISPs establish non-discriminatory, cost based and firm pricing policies that are sensitive to the needs and demand of the Kenyan consumers. In addition, the internet service providers are required to give the commission and consumers a sufficient notice before the implementation of any new prices. According to the law, the ISPs are also required to give the minimum quality of service, including bandwidth (Netcom Information System Ltd 2007). This implies that the new venture will have to formulate its pricing policies taking into consideration the government regulations.

The regulation on internet content is minimal in Kenya. The government only monitors and prohibits the distribution of hate messages or information undermining national integrity. The government may either order the ISP to block a website or go direct to incriminating the culprits involved in using the internet to distribute dangerous information. Thus, internet marketers have to ensure their internet platforms are not used in ways contrary to the government’s directives (Netcom Information System Ltd.2007). Hence, internet use policies formulated by the company must put government regulation into consideration.

People should follow all government’s regulations to be allowed to initiate a business in Kenya. For instance, a business in the communication industry must be licensed and cleared under the Kenya law and bide itself to operating within the regulations set by the Communication Commission of Kenya. It has to meet certain safety standards, for instance, the environmental protection standard.  . The numerous standards set by the government are to be observed by the new and existing businesses. Besides, the new venture business will be expected to pay all taxes on its income in accordance with the Kenyan tax payer regulations.

There is a special regulation for companies in the telecommunications industry in Kenya. Companies are required to issue 20% of their total shares to Kenyans citizens. This should happen on or before 3 years after the license is given (Netcom Information System Ltd 2007).

3. 1 Recommendations on how to Overcome any Disadvantage Arising from Regulations

Firstly, in order to overcome disadvantages that may result from the governmental regulations, the new business should meet all government regulations. For instance, the venture business will need to issue 20% of its total shares to the Kenyan people. The business will not only meet the government regulation but also increase its local awareness.

Secondly, since there are numerous registration regulations, the company needs to work closely with the Kenyan government to ensure they meet all the set government requirements pertaining registration and licensing of the new business venture. This should help avoid unnecessary fines.

As aforementioned, the Kenya government monitors the pricing and quality of local ISPs to ensure consumers are not exploited. It is an important factor to consider before the new venture is started. It is worth noting that 4G internet platforms are known to be faster, cheaper and more efficient than either 2G or 3G. Hence, the company will have to ensure its prices are reasonable to avoid getting sued for consumer exploitation.

4.0 Key Personal Traits and Entrepreneurs’ Behaviors Required to Design and Run the Business Venture Successfully

Personal traits will be important to run the new venture efficiently and effectively. Apart from general commitment and academic qualification for various job posts, the employees need to be:

  • Innovativeness and creativity are important aspects in any business, especially in the telecommunication industry. The business needs all employees to be innovators. They are supposed to be able to formulate solutions to cope with emerging market challenges. The company will need to produce new markets, new methods of production, and new products. These traits should help the company solve emerging problems (Hodgets et al. 2008).

Self-confidence is another personal trait that may be vital in ensuring efficient business design and operation. A new business is bound to encounter unpredicted challenges. The business needs self-confident people to ensure that the business is thriving even in the difficult economic situations.

Another important trait is a locus of control. The business needs people who can perceive the outcome of events either within or beyond their personal control. These are individuals who behave closely and consistently with Maclellands theory of need for achievement (Hodgets et al. 2008).  

Investments in the technology businesses are considered risky because failure of an electronic service renders the business unreliable. Hence, the business needs people who can take business risks following after doing the in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of making a certain step.

Furthermore, the goal oriented persons are needed to ensure the business goals are directed toward pre-determined goals. The goal oriented people are people who work on objectives by means of plans and apply available resources carefully to ensure their goals are achieved.

Another important behavior trait is aptitude for hard work. People who have such a trait work for long hours even when others have stopped working. They strongly believe that hard work will help them attain their goals.

Finally, the company needs people with an eye for opportunity. These are people who start with finding a need and quickly looking for ways to satisfy them. They are alert to opportunities that they are quicker to see and grab. They plan and anticipate carefully how to achieve their goals in realizing an opportunity (Hodgets et al. 2008).

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