As the battle over mobile phone supremacy in Kenya continues, Airtel Kenya did the surprising thing last week and increased its call rates. The move sees the per minute rate increase from KES 3.60 to KES 4.02 for both on- and off-net calls.
The move has been criticized across the customer base, with many experts wondering if the move will see subscribers take their business elsewhere. It this the latest development in a near two-year constant price war that has seen rates plummet as competitors attempted to undercut each other.
“Charges for on-net calls during off-peak hours of 22:00hrs to 06:00hrs and postpaid rates remain unchanged. The new charges took effect 1 September,” Airtel Kenya confirmed in a statement.
The new rates compare to KES 4 per minute at Safaricom and KES 3 at Yu, while Orange Kenya charges KES 3 for off-net calls and KES 2 for on-net calls.
While the new rates are within the industry average, by making any increase at the moment, some analysts believe that Airtel could face an uphill battle to ensure their base remains loyal to the brand.