What the Airtel-Telkom Merger Has To Do To Catch Up With Safaricom

By Juma / September 20, 2019



Airtel- Telkom merger

The Airtel-Telkom merger train has long left the station, slowly but steadily moving towards its destination where it will be fully molded and actualized.

As the train meanders its way up and down the hills of Kenya’s telecommunications sector, a lot has been said; some genuine concerns and some, just unfounded truths that hold no water at all.

As part of the passenger on this train, I also have some genuine concerns as well as recommendations to the two drivers, who will soon become one, on what I feel they should do to always have me, as the consumer on board.

The little bird in the street has always brought in the Safaricom equation whenever the issue of Airtel-Telkom merger pops up. I agree with the little bird. We cannot discuss Kenya’s telecommunications sector without bringing Safaricom in.

The truth is, Safaricom prides itself in providing services that have been described as “quality” in-network strength, calls, data, SMSs and above all, M-Pesa. Using Safaricom as the SI unit, the Airtel-Telkom merger has quite some work to do to catch up with Safaricom.

Mobile Money

The question many people are asking is what is going to happen to mobile money platforms of Airtel and Telkom? Telkom has T-Kash while Airtel has Airtel Money. What is going to happen? Are they going to remain independent?

For Airtel-Telkom to beat M-Pesa, they need to come together and form an alternative large force in the mobile money sector. They need to spread their corporate colors in the form of agents for their mobile money across the country. A great disadvantage for both Airtel and Telkom for their mobile money has been inadequate agents across the country.

For over 10 years, Kenya has led 20 other nations in financial inclusion, thanks to the robust mobile money platforms. Airtel-Telkom should not let this fire die. They should enhance their platforms, spread them across the country and stamp their authority.

Spectrum utilization

After the merger, Airtel-Telkom will have an equal spectrum as that of Safaricom. According to the Communications Authority, there is still some more spectrum available in case one of the players wants to buy. At the moment, the two players, Safaricom and Airtel and Telkom combined, are on the same level ground in terms of the spectrum.

Airtel-Telkom should take this opportunity to expand and strengthen its network coverage. Let them put up infrastructure that will ensure that their network is stable across the country and that their customers will be assured of clear and stable services.

For instance, on the Spectrum of 900 (2G) for instance, Safaricom controls 17.5. Airtel and Telkom Kenya control 10 and 7.5 each. In the merger, Airtel-Telkom with will have a combined force of 17.5, same as Safaricom.

On the 1800 (2G) Spectrum, Safaricom enjoys 30 while Airtel and Telkom have 10 each. In the merger, Airtel-Telkom will have 20, only 10 less than Safaricom. Note that from Safaricom’s 30, 20 was obtained from Bell Western (10) and Essar (10).

Within the 2100 (3G) Spectrum, Safaricom currently has 20 while Airtel and Telkom have 10 each. After the bond, the two (Airtel and Telkom) will have 20, the same as Safaricom.

The 800 (4G) Spectrum makes things interesting because currently, Safaricom has 10 while both Airtel and Telkom have 20 overall. In total, Safaricom will have a combined Spectrum of 77.5. The merged Airtel-Telkom entity will also have the same 77.5.

Call Rates

Comparing call rates between Telkom and Safaricom, and Airtel and Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom have relatively low call rates. They should continue with the affordable call rates even after the merger and make it both available and sustainable.

Data

Kenya is a browsing nation. Data bundles are what Kenyans need at the moment. It is also true that data bundles from both Airtel and Telkom are relatively affordable compared to other players. What they need goes back to have strong structures that will make their data reliable.



About Juma

Juma is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it.(020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

View other posts by Juma


More Articles From This Author








Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE

ARCHIVES

2019
  • January 2019 (256)
  • February 2019 (216)
  • March 2019 (285)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (272)
  • June 2019 (251)
  • July 2019 (339)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (307)
  • October 2019 (134)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (219)
  • March 2018 (278)
  • April 2018 (225)
  • May 2018 (238)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (257)
  • August 2018 (249)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (284)
  • December 2018 (187)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (165)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (248)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (108)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (120)
  • July 2015 (148)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (188)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (207)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950