Thanks to Orange’s 6-week ad campaign to date, it is no longer a surprise that Safaricom subscribers are paying much more than what rival telecoms are offering in cross-network calls. The all out campaign by Orange is well intended to provoke the Safaricom user to think on just how affordable it is to call across networks using Orange than it is to call within Safaricom’s own network. For Orange this is an attempt to reach out to the 20 million Safaricom voice customers who mostly call within their network.
Safaricom’s creative and media agency Scanad, has now lodged a complaint against rival Orange’s advertisement underlining the intense battle for market share between mobile phone operators. Scanad has petitioned the Advertisement Standards Body of Kenya (ASBK) to take action against Orange for its aggressive marketing that uses Safaricom’s corporate colors, call rates, and sim cards to market Orange’s own services.
“In the advert our key message is for the consumer to make a decision by comparing our tariffs with what our rival [offers] and we are not targeting Safaricom as they claim.” said Orange CEO Mickael Ghossein in an interview.
Orange’s Tujuane Tariff charges Ksh. 2 for on-net calls and Ksh. 3 for off-net calls, compared to Safaricom’s Ksh. 4 on-net and Ksh. 5 for off-net. But still, Safaricom controls about 70% of the voice market. Rival players Orange, Airtel and Yu have for a long time tried to eat into Safaricom’s dominant market share with lower prices. On the other hand, Safaricom has it’s eyes set on value-add services such as the M-Pesa, M-Shwari which makes it really hard for its customers to readily leave the network.