Airtel Kenya has successfully intergrated more than 2 Million earlier subscribers of YuMobile to its network, after the migration process that started last year in August was announced as completed.
The migration process was after the Yu decided to sell it stake in the Kenyan market to both Safaricom and Airtel, as it was not bringing in profits in spite of the many deals the telco introduced in the hope of attracting more customers.
Following the deal, Safaricom would take up the larger number of the telco’s staff as well as its infrastructure while Airtel Kenya would get subscribers, operator’s licence as well as a small number of the staff.
In a market dominated by Safaricom, and followed by Airtel in second position, there was hardly any hope for YuMobile making it to a respectable position in the Kenya telecommunications market.
Now, following the acquisition and migration of the subscribers, Airtel has increased its subscriber base to just over 8 Million and has attained a 26.6% customer market share in the country.
EX-YuMobile customers will not have to take up new numbers but will be able to retain their current lines, they will also continue to enjoy prior services that include calls to other networks at KSh 3, Free calls on the same network, SMS rates at KSh2 to other networks and KSh 1 to same networks.
In addition to the services, the new customers of Airtel will now be able to enjoy the network’s services, including a new online experience with free internet to basic services provided for through a partnership with Facebook’s initiative Internet.org.
“This is a great beginning to a journey with our loyal customers and for the economy as a whole. The successfl acquisition re-affirms Airtel’s commitment to offer a choice of quality products and innovative services to its customer in Kenya,” said Adil El Youssefi, CEO at Airtel Kenya.
Airtel is still left behind with a large margin by leading mobile operator Safaricom, but maybe with continued initiatives and promotions aimed at winning Kenyans, the telco might catch up in a way that will surprise many.
Already there is growing preference of the Airtel internet connectivity, and in a digital era where everything and everyone wants to stay connected, the telco may become a winner in the internet sector, even with Safaricom’s 4G network along the way.
With the acquisition deal now complete, Essar has exited its Kenyan market as Orange telkom also looks to make an exit from Kenya as well and the East Africa market all together, following a prior exit in Uganda last year.
The telco is still looking to find buyers for the network, after Vietnam’s Viettel Group withdrew its bid to purchase a 70 per cent stake in the telecom some time last year, following a lack of consensus between the Vietnam telco and Kenya’s government.