Our mobile phone carriers have a lot of prefixes that they use to uniquely identify each other. We can generally tell which phone number is Safaricom or which is Airtel and so on.
In the past 2 decades, they have been allocated more and more prefixes to keep up with demand.
Early May last year, the Communications Authority announced that they have introduced new mobile prefixes for the Kenyan market. The 01xx prefixes were done due to the 07xx exhaustion with demand from SIM card, mobile data and machine-to-machine communications.
As per the latest statistics from the regulator, Safaricom has 34.5 million subscribes while Airtel Kenya has 13 million subscribers. They each grew their subscribers by 4.4% and 2.2% respectively between quarters.
Following their application, Safaricom and Airtel were issued with 2 million and 3 million numbers respectively. The new prefixes were detailed in the new telecommunication numbering plan for Kenya dated February 2020.
Safaricom has officially introduced SIM cards today with the 0110 and 0111 prefixes. You can find these in Safaricom Shops and dealers countrywide. So if you were itching to get yourself one of these numbers, go ahead and scoop yours. As Safaricom detailed back in October, you can get these new SIM cards for free but you’ll need KES 50 for airtime to activate it. You can also customize your phone number as before.
Airtel was assigned 0100, 0101 and 0102 as their prefixes. This is 50% more than Safaricom.
In the old system, Safaricom uses the 070x, 071x, 072x, 074x, 0757, 0758, 0759, 0768, 0769 and 079x. Airtel uses 0730 to O739m 0750 to 0756 and 0785 to 0789. Telkom Kenya uses 0770 tto 0779. Faiba uses 0747 and Equitel uses 0763 to 0766