Airtel Kenya Wants to Make a Big Splash with New Voice Product, Tubonge Bundle

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According to the latest statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya, voice traffic increased significantly by 18.2 percent to 10.8 billion minutes last quarter, up from 9.2 billion minutes posted during the previous quarter. On average, each subscriber talked for 95.8 minutes per month during the quarter up from 84.9 minutes the previous quarter. Communications Authority says that this was catalysed by special offers and promotions carried out by the operators during the period.

Airtel Kenya’s voice traffic market-share stood at 13.8 percent, during the last quarter, a representation of the 1.48 billion minutes spent on phone by its subscribers. Voice traffic, makes up 70% of Airtel’s revenue.

A few days after Safaricom supposedly went after Airtel’s UnlimiNet customers with their new product “Flex“, Airtel has come out guns blazing, giving its subscribers more reason to stick with them.

Airtel’s new CEO, Prasanta Das Sarma (PD), today launched a new service dubbed “Tubonge” (Swahili for Let’s talk), aimed at reaching the demographic that make calls a lot. The new service, will be centered on voice calls and will “simplify life” for Airtel customers.

Tubonge bundles will allow Airtel customers to enjoy 100 minutes of on-net calls and enjoy off-net calls at Ksh.2 per minute. The bundles are available in either daily, weekly or monthly subscriptions, and will be defined as follows:

Subsription FeesValidityOn-Net Calls
(Airtel-Airtel)
Off-Net Calls
(Airtel-Other Networks)
Ksh.1024 hours100 free minutesKsh.2 per minute
Ksh.507 days700 free minutes (100 daily)Ksh.2 per minute
Ksh.15030 days3000 free minutes (100 daily)Ksh.2 per minute

Once the 100 minutes are depleted, the subscriber will be charged Ksh.2 per minute for both on-net and off-net calls. To subscribe, one simply dials *544# and Tubonge is the first option. Tubonge bundles can be used with other bundles like UnlimiNet, however, the other bundles will have a higher priority than Tubonge, meaning you will have to deplete your unlimiNet voice minutes before using Tubonge minutes.

Airtel’s CEO also mentioned that this was a first in a series of products that are coming cutting across voice, data and sms services. Prasanta also revealed that Airtel’s 4G network was in the testing phase and would be rolling out to customers in a couple of months.

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