Indias’ Bharti Airtel and Telkom Kenya joint venture agreement hit a dead end after Telkom on Wednesday withdrew from the talks.
Airtel Networks Kenya unit in 2019 had agreed to buy Telkom Kenya, the East African nation’s smallest operator in which the state still has a 40% shareholding after a majority stake was sold in 2007.
“After carefully reviewing the available options, Telkom has opted to adopt an alternative strategic direction and will no longer be pursuing the proposed joint venture transaction. This decision has been mutually agreed with Airtel Networks Kenya Limited,” Telkom Kenya said in a statement.
Telkom Kenya last month started loon, 4G enabling balloons in partnership with the American tech giant, googles’ Alphabet.
Telkom Kenya now says it is likely to expand its internet subscription by 4.8 million users.
Loon is a network of stratospheric balloons invented to bring internet connectivity to rural and remote communities worldwide.
The high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere (altitude: 18km to 25km) create an aerial wireless network with up to 4G-LTE speeds.
The solar and wind-powered balloons have been entering Kenya’s airspace from different parts of the world since March, a month after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) approved entry after two years of discussion.