, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – Mobile telephony operator Zain Kenya has introduced Sh5 and Sh10 denomination airtime vouchers as it steps up its efforts to capture the mass market.
The introduction of the new vouchers is seen as a move to make the operator more accessible to the low-end market after a change in strategy following the entry of its new shareholders, Bharti Airtel.
Zain Kenya Managing Director Rene Meza said the move is aimed at complementing its recent 50 percent reduction of call charges.
“We are offering a wide range of scratch card denominations to suit the needs of all individuals. Access to telecommunication services is no longer a luxury but an integral part of each Kenyan’s socio-economic needs,” Mr Meza said.
Zain has made it clear it is out to gain leadership in the mobile market with Mr Meza saying the lowering of its tariffs was only the first ace up its sleeve. He has in the past said that the operator would be able to match any move its competitors make, making operations form them difficult.
Communications Commission of Kenya data show that Zain was closing in on the two million-subscriber mark.
Zain becomes the second operator to introduce the Sh5 and Sh10 vouchers after Safaricom made a similar move in November 2009.
“We would like to enable our subscribers to enjoy our new low calling rates without any hindrance. The low denomination scratch cards that we have introduced in the market underpins our continued commitment to make access to telecommunication services in Kenya more affordable,” Mr Meza said.
Since announcing a renewed focus on the mass-market segment, Zain Kenya has continued to roll out products targeting this sector.
Two weeks ago, the company launched a simplified interactive mobile phone account management menu service, which enables customers to access a wide range of value added services through a single short code free of charge.
Among the new services incorporated include a unique and innovative airtime advance service, Kopa Credo, airtime-sharing service, Me2U and a call back request service, Please call me.
Mr Meza said Zain Kenya would continue enriching the customer experience through providing affordable and flexible services in line with the changing market needs.
“We are very happy with the way the Kenyan market has received our new approach to business. We are confident that we will be able to reclaim a significant portion of the market share as we pursue our goal of attaining market leadership,” Mr Meza said.
He disclosed that Zain Kenya has embarked on upgrading her infrastructure to cope up with the growing traffic.
Last month Bharti Airtel announced that it had released Sh24 billion in capital investment into the Kenyan operation following acquisition of the company.