NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – Mobile telephony operator Zain has said its strategy for deeper market penetration is pegged on improving network quality as opposed to engaging in price wars with competitors.
Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday, Zain East Africa Chief Operating Officer Arafeh Bashar said emphasis on pricing would result in a loss of strategic focus making it harder to penetrate the market.
Mr Bashar said apart from network quality enhancement, they would introduce innovative products in the quest to attract more customers.
"Prices come and go but if your quality of service is better than the rest, then that is the way to attract new customers," Mr Bashar said.
He disclosed that the operator had laid out a wide network infrastructure base that that gave it an edge over other operators.
Currently, Zain is said to have close to three million active subscribers, which Mr Bashar said was still small.
"We just hope that as we improve our network this will accelerate the rate at which we can have more customers coming on board," he said.
A recent survey released by telecommunications consultancy company Omnitele of Finland, showed that Zain had the strongest network in Kenya.
It also showed that Zain enjoyed the widest coverage reaching more than 88 percent of the country\’s population.
Since entering the market in 2005, Zain has reportedly invested Sh37 billion revamping its network infrastructure.
At the same time, Mr Bashar called on the industry regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya to implement regulations that deter unfair competition.
He noted that most operators in the market were operating as foreign investors in the mobile industry and if they did not receive, some kind of protection would fold up and exit the market.
He was speaking when the company was being awarded the SuperBrands status. Zain emerged as the only mobile telephone operator at position 15 of the top 20 brands in East and Central Africa.
Speaking during the presentation, SuperBrands Project Director for east Africa Jawad Jaffer said Zain emerged the top mobile phone operator, and faired very strongly among the 2,285 that were considered in the research.
"Only the top brands that passed the standards have now been invited to join the local SuperBrands program, a sub-set of the prestigious global project that recognises brand strength and is viewed as the elite club for the world\’s strongest brands, and we welcome Zain into this prestigious club," he said.
Mr Bashar highlighted employee dedication across its East African operations as a cornerstone of strengthening Zain as a brand.
"Their diversity, harmonised in the common shared identity has resonated so well to our regional customers, whom I also want to thank for their loyalty to the Zain Brand," he said.