Airtel Kenya has revised calling rates for both calls made within and outside its network, subscribers will now pay Sh4.02 per minute up from previous Sh3.60. However, calls made during off-peak hours (from 10pm to 6am) will remain unchanged as well as charges for customers on its postpaid plan. The new tariffs were effected as from September 1st. The changes were notified through an advert on Saturday which indicated the operator had reviewed its rates upwards from a 6 cents per second billing rate to 6.7 cents. The changes put Airtel at par with Safaricom’s Sh4 per minute for both calls within its network and those terminating on rival networks.
Airtel’s and Safaricom’s rates are relatively higher than other service providers, YuMobile charges Sh3 for both calls made within and outside its network while Orange Kenya charges Sh3 for calls made outside its network and Sh2 for those made within its network. The move comes despite the government’s decision to lower termination rates. Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) are charges mobile service providers pay their rivals for calls made to their rival’s network but initiated within their own network or by their subscribers.
Soon after the termination rates were reduced by almost half by the communications commission of Kenya, it resulted in price wars that seriously impacted voice revenues. Service providers had to cope with reduced revenues by finding alternative avenues such as data to compensate. Interestingly, Airtel was a major player in the sense that it actually fired the first shot by reducing its tariff charges by half.