A couple of months ago, Airtel Kenya officially introduced 4G services in the country, an unfashionably late move after a series of legal tussles with the Communications Authority. The launch was limited to Nairobi and Mombasa. The development, while welcome to its fans, was not popular as a significant share of Airtel subscribers who live in other parts of the country could not enjoy faster speeds, and have since been stuck to 3G or 2G speeds.
The telco says that in the next three months, users in Eldoret, Kisumu and Nakuru will be graced by the service. This may alleviate constant internet coverage constraints that are often reported by users on the mobile carrier’s social media pages. Additionally, the launch is apparently targeting highly populated towns.
Airtel has been undergoing a hard time in the telco business, but in the last quarter, it managed to amass a healthy 1 million subscribers to make it Kenya’s second largest telco with near 10 million subscribers. These numbers may appreciate significantly if Airtel continues to innovate around data-centric products that have proved popular among the country’s youths who are always on the lookout for the best deals.
A few days ago, all operators were forced to increase the billing of phone services after the Financial Bill 2018 went live. To ease data access fee hikes, Airtel added more unit to its Amazing Bundles product. Similar to Telkom’s Freedom Bundles and Safaricom’s new data products, Airtel’s Amazing Bundles also added Free WhatsApp during the validity of the plan (although Safaricom’s allows access to WhatsApp once a bundle has been depleted).
The company is retracing Telkom’s strides in pushing internet services to the masses.
Collectively, these efforts should emulate Safaricom’s vast LTE coverage that has largely remained unmatched for some time now.