Airtel's Sh2 per minute call rate set to trigger price war

Airtel CEO Prasanta Das Sarma
Airtel CEO Prasanta Das Sarma (centre) and models at the launch of the new tariff in Nairobi August 8, 2018. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Airtel Kenya has slashed the cost of making a call to Sh2 per minute across all networks in a move likely to set off a fresh price war in the telecommunications industry.

The Sh2 per minute on-net and off-net charge will be a default tariff for new Airtel customers while existing subscribers will dial a code to opt into the service saving them 50 per cent off current rates.

Safaricom customers call at Sh4 per minute both on-net and off-net.

Customers on the Uwezo tariff make calls across networks at Sh2 per minute between 9pm and 8am.

Telkom Kenya charges its customers Sh2 a minute to make calls on-net and Sh3 per minute to other networks.

Unique tariff

“We are delighted to be introducing this new unique tariff that gives double the value to the customers as now they can talk twice as much on our network,” said Airtel CEO Prasanta Das Sarma during the launch of the tariff Wednesday.

The volume of outgoing off-net voice traffic increased 27.95 per cent to more than 1.4 billion minutes in the quarter ended March 2018 compared to the same period last year, according to the Communications Authority of Kenya data.

The rising off-net traffic is an indicator that telcos are eager to make customers comfortable while calling rival operators.