‘One Airtel’ roaming is a service offer that enables inbound roamers or visiting subscribers from all Airtel Africa countries to be treated as local customers in the visited country in terms of pricing, including receiving calls free of charge while retaining their home SIM card.
The new offer provides simple tariff within Airtel’s footprint while offering one FLAT rate while roaming within its network in Africa to enhance customer experience. For example, Airtel Kenya customers travelling to Madagascar – one of the Airtel’s networks across Africa, will enjoy up to 85% discount when making calls back to Kenya at Sh35 down from Sh227.30 per minute. Airtel Kenya customers will be charged Sh12 while making calls within Madagascar down from Sh37 per minute. This is in comparison to the market’s Sh35 while making calls within Madagascar and Sh285 while making calls back to Kenya.
Airtel Kenya customers travelling across sixteen Airtel Africa’s countries can roam on any of the Airtel networks for only Sh12 per minute for all local calls within the country, and Sh35 per minute for any call back to Kenya or for an international call. Receiving calls while roaming still remains free of charge for the first 100 minutes a month. Sending an SMS message will cost just Sh17 compared to the market rate which stands at Sh20 per minute. Incoming SMSs are free. The countries where the new flat rate applies include Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, DRC, Gabon, Congo, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Madagascar.
In addition, Airtel Kenya SMS rates to and within Uganda and Rwanda have been reduced to Sh6. Previously, customers used to pay from Sh13 while roaming and Sh10 for international SMS to the two countries. Voice calls to and within these countries will remain the same at the rate of Sh10 per minute. The changes in the tariffs within Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda is as a result of an agreement by the heads of state of three East African countries to reduce cross-border calling rates by 60 percent, as part of efforts to enhance regional integration. The new guidelines have greatly improved communication and stimulated growth in the telecommunications sector, which has in the recent past become an important contributor to member countries’ gross domestic product.
“Airtel Kenya is delighted to have taken the lead yet again in offering the best value proposition, convenience and seamless communication for our customers when they travel to any of Airtel Africa’s fourteen networks. With ‘One Airtel’, roaming has never been easier – or more affordable – to keep connected to family, friends and colleagues. We have launched this preferential roaming service to ensure that our customers fully benefit from the advantages of Airtel’s presence across Africa, ensuring savings in communication costs for our travelling customers,” said Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi.
The move follows on the Government call in July 2015 for the ICT sector to play a bigger role in economic growth of the region by enabling communication across borders at reasonable rates whether it is on the same or different networks.
Airtel prepaid customers will also continue to enjoy the convenience of being be able to top-up their prepaid SIM cards with the visited network scratch cards while roaming. The local scratch cards can be purchased at any Airtel points of sale and top up by simply dialling “138*Voucher-PIN” and press the OK button. Roaming service for customers will be automatically activated when crossing into any Airtel network, with no prior registration required or sign-up fee charged.