Kenya price war rages on

TELECOMS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Kenya price war rages on

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s mobile subscribers are reaping big from the ongoing price wars among local telcos.

Just weeks after Airtel Kenya took the war a notch higher by offering subscribers discounts of between 15% and 25% on talk time, Safaricom has hit back with a new promotion where her subscribers can enjoy up to 75% discount on calling rates.

Dubbed Wakenya Tuongee (Swahili for Kenyans let us talk),  the promotion runs between 24th of July and August 23, and will see Safaricom subscribers pay Ksh 4 for the first minute of their call, Ksh3 for calls between 1 and 2 minutes and KSh 2 for the calls that last between 2 and 3 minutes.

Calls that last for more than 3 minutes will be charged at Sh 1.

Mobile firm Essar Telecom’s yuMobile, on the other hand, has been running promotions that let subscribers call within network for free under certain conditions. Yu cut its calling charges to a flat rate set up fee of Sh5per day for the first minute of calls made from the network every day and its subscribers can call within its network for free. It however charges Sh3 per minute for off net calls.

The ongoing one month Airtel promotion ends on the first week of August 2012  and benefits subscribers buying scratch cards from the 31 Nakumatt supermarkets outlets across Kenya.

For the Airtel promotion, subscribers who buy airtime worth Sh250, 500 (US3, 012) and 1000 (USD12) will get discounts of 15, 20 and 25% respectively.

The price war can be read as a move by the telcos to gain market share and it comes at a time when leading operator, Safaricom, has had its market share nibbled into by rivals.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said the Wakenya Tuongee promotion will only apply to Pre-Paid customers making Safaricom-to-Safaricom calls from 6am to 6pm.

To enjoy the reduced rates, customers will be required to subscribe to join the promotion by dialing *777# and calls will be charged on a per second billing basis.

However, Collymore said the other rates for calling other networks within Kenya and international calls will remain.

The market leader also aims to attract more subscribers through a new service dubbed ‘Okoa SIM’ (Swahili for salvage the SIM) that will let subscribers back up information on their SIM cards.With this service customers will be able to back up all the information on SIM cards in the cloud meaning they can retrieve all their important contacts and other information if their SIM cards are stolen, lost, or damaged.

Safaricom remains dominant with 67.7% of Kenya’s mobile phone subscribers. Airtel has 15.7%, Orange 10.4% while Yu trails with 6.2%. 

The competition is also raging on the data front, with Airtel now retailing its 21 megabytes per second (Mbs) modem at Ksh1,999 (USD23) down from Ksh4, 500 (USD53) while the 7.2Mbs modems will go for Ksh999 (USD12), a 50% drop.

Safaricom, whose mobile data market share as of December 2011 stood at 77.1%, has a 7.2Mbs modem going for Ksh1,999 (USD23).

Its 21Mbs modem, on the other hand, costs Ksh9, 999 (USD118) and comes bundled with 20 gigabytes of data.

Fourth-placed Telkom Kenya is selling its 3G+ 3.1Mbs modem retailing for Ksh3, 999 (US$47) while its 21Mbs device is going for Sh1, 999 (USD 23).

Data from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) show that 17.3 million Kenyans had access of the Internet in the period to December up from 14.3 million in September 2011, pushing Internet penetration to 44.12% from 36.3%.

The statistics further show that mobile Internet subscriptions on GPRS/EDGE and 3G recorded the highest portion of the total Internet subscriptions of 6.07 million subscriptions compared to 5.37 million subscriptions recorded during the previous period, a 13% rise. 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

Preparing for the next evolution in the telecoms landscape

Change is coming to the telecoms market, as increased competition, reduced cost of services and changing business models pave the way for new services, new solutions and more pervasive communication to connect more users, more affordably, says Jasco. Read More

MTN notes ruling by International Arbitration Panel

MTN Group has noted that a tribunal of independent arbitrators has ruled against Turkish mobile operator Turkcell, in the investor-state arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty case held in terms of the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Read More

Vodacom enhances enterprise voice suite

Vodacom Business Nigeria’s Vernon Van Rooyen; Coca-Cola Nigeria’s Titilayo Oyebolu and PZ Cussons’ Serge Yao Vodacom Business Nigeria has enhanced its enterprise voice suite with the launch of two new solutions, Business Connect and Business Express.  Read More

Telecom Namibia receives NTA certification

Telecom Namibia Training Centre has been endorsed by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), the national body responsible for the registration of vocational training centres and institutes, to deliver a wide range of general IP/IT training programmes. Read More

Tigo supports Ghana Military Academy

Tigo Ghana has presented smartphones and 1-year fully connected modems to graduating cadet officers of the Ghana Military Academy at the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) in Accra.  Read More

Airtel slashes Rwanda roaming rates

Airtel Kenya has announced a reduction of call rates by 60% and free incoming calls for customers roaming to Rwanda.    Read More

Tigo management interacts with customers

As part of Tigo’s Global Customer Service Week celebrations, the entire management of Tigo Ghana worked in their customer care shops across the country.  Read More

Airtel joins UN Global Compact

Bharti Airtel has officially joined the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative that relies on public accountability, transparency and disclosure to complement regulations and to provide space for innovation and collective action.      Read More

MainOne: ‘protect submarine cables’

MainOne has joined government agencies, maritime bodies and other stakeholders with responsibilities in seabed use to clamour for the protection of submarine cables and other critical IT infrastructure. Read More

Viettel Mozambique named fastest-growing MEA company

Movitel, a subsidiary of Viettel Group in Mozambique, has been named Gold Winner of “Fastest Growing of the Year in Middle-East and Africa” Award. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Growing African focus on data securityGrowing African focus on data security

Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.  

COMPANY NEWS

CNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014

Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.