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Kenya’s Mobile Tariff-mania!

Masai on Mobile Phones

In an earlier post, I talked about the coming telecoms storm in Kenya. As I write this email, the first signs of an all out mobile network tariff war is underway.

To start with, Safaricom launched its Ongea tariff with a flat rate of Kes. 10.00 per minute for Safaricom to Safaricom calls, all day and night as well as SMS rates of Kes. 3.50 within their network.

Shortly thereafter, Zain Kenya launched its Vuka tariff with a rate of Kes. 8.00 for Zain to Zain calls as well as ALL networks in Kenya. Furthermore, SMS rates within the Zain network and ALL networks in Kenya is Kes. 3.00.

Now, just before the weekend, Orange Kenya launched a tariff of only Kes. 1.00 per minute for Orange to Orange calls (for atleast the next two months), as well as SMS rates of Kes. 1.00 within their network. Orange Kenya also offers its subscribers a rate of only Kes. 7.00 per minute for Telkom Kenya fixed calls.

All of these very low tariffs are coming out even before Econet Kenya has launched their network, which is expected to happen in the next month or so. In a nutshell, at the end of the day, the Kenyan consumer is winning as the mobile networks fight to win marketshare and customer lock-in. My only concern is that consumers now have to consider the very real prospect of having multiple handsets and sim cards for each network! At the end of the day, however this pans out, I am sure everyone is going to LOVE talking and texting on their mobile phones in Kenya for really affordable rates!

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