Kenya’s second largest mobile operator, Airtel, has come a long way. While it is yet to make a notable impact on the local carrier business that is mostly dominated by Safaricom in terms of market share, Airtel has not failed to make a name for itself by launching a wide range of affordable products that are most appealing to a demographic that is adopting the services of mobile phones and want a good deal while operating those handheld devices. These developments have been mostly good, but the telco is yet to nail the network issue that still continues to plague service availability for many people across the country.
While that might the case, appreciable efforts put forward by Airtel have since been recognized by reports such as this, where the operator was lauded for providing pocket-friendly deals across the board. Today’s announcement is in line with such endeavours, but targets voice primarily. From today and onward, Airtel customers will be able to make calls across any network for Kes 2 per minute. Users will not be required to subscribe for anything, nor is the product laced with any form of conditions.
This makes Airtel the sole operator that charges that little for off-net voice. It is a big deal, really, and owing to the fact this is a permanent service, Airtel may have projected significant gains from the move, which includes netting more customers, keeping older ones and generating revenue from it as voice is still one of the Airtel’s top earners, which is the same case for Safaricom that reaps additional profits from M-PESA services, followed by data and SMS, in that order.
Whether this price drop in voice calls will be impactful to the growth of the telco is still unknown, but we will have the numbers as soon as the Communications of Authority of Kenya (CA) avails them for Q3 and Q4. This is also to say that performance improvements are pegged on many factors, and while pricing your products lower than the competitors is not one of them (at least factually speaking), it still is a move to the right direction nonetheless.
It should also be noted that this product is for pre-pay users. The ‘call for 2 bob’ offering will also overwrite the rates for all tariffs provided by Airtel.
“We are delighted to be making history by introducing this new unique tariff that gives double the value to the customers as now they can talk twice as much while experiencing unmatched high quality on our network” said Airtel CEO, Prasanta Das Sarma.
“The reported outcomes of the NPS measure of customer experiences is a true testament of the value we place in ensuring that our customers’ enjoy par excellence services and that our products and services meet their various communication needs.” Prasanta added.