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Airtel Kenya slashes call rates to Sh1

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 13 – Airtel Kenya has lowered its call rate to Sh1 as it seeks to forge ahead in the telecommunications market and grow its customer numbers in the country.

The move that comes barely six months after its last call tariff lowering by more than 50 percent to Sh3 in August last year, now represents a whopping 67 percent call rate slash.

Speaking at a media conference where he announced the launch of the new call rates, Airtel Kenya Managing Director Rene Meza said the move had been taken as a conscious business decision in line with the firm\’s strategy of offering affordable communications solutions to its customers.

"At Airtel Kenya, our commitment to bring down the cost of mobile telephony is grounded in a belief that mobile phones are today an essential socio-economic tool; critical in nation building," Mr Meza said.

Mr Meza further explained that Airtel Kenya would continue rolling out a range of value added services to complement its growing voice traffic.

"Given the support we have received from our existing subscribers and the hundreds of thousands more who are joining our network on a daily basis, we are glad to be in a position to be shaping Kenya\’s mobile telecommunications delivery standards in a most defining way," he said.

Airtel subscribers will now make calls at Sh1 from 6am to 6pm. To enjoy the new tariff, Airtel subscribers\’ will be required to dial *111# and pay a daily subscription fee of Sh1 to enjoy the new rates.

The Kenyan telecommunications market has been gripped by a price war since the entry of Bharti Airtel, with the acquisition of Zain Africa assets. From the onset, Airtel has declared that it is out to attain market leadership currently enjoyed Safaricom with 21 million customers.

The MD said the new Airtel short term strategy was all about volume arguing it would translate into profits once its business model takes root in the Kenyan market.

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Since it started its price cuts, Mr Meza said the operator had almost doubled its customer base to four million customers.

"With the drop in tariffs, we have seen an increase in volumes, both in users and in minutes," Mr Meza said.

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