Airtel Kenya Welcomes MVNO Licensing


Airtel Kenya has welcomed the regulator's recent decision to license three MVNOs, saying that it welcomes the competition in the market.

Three companies, Zioncell, Tangaza Pesa and Fincell (a subsidiary of Equity Bank) have all been granted licenses to act as virtual operators.

Airtel has reason to be happy though -- as all three companies have signed agreements to use its network infrastructure rather than that offered by rivals.

"Kenyans are hungry for choice. The move will not only provide a chance to compete on equal grounds but also allow for innovation," Airtel Kenya Managing Director Adil El Youssetta told local media.

The three MVNOs have also been granted mobile money licenses, which are almost essential if they are to compete in the market dominated by Safaricom.

The country of 43 million people had 31.3 million mobile-phone subscriptions by the end of last September, of which Safaricom accounted for 20.8 million, Airtel 5.5 million, Yu Mobile 2.8 million and Orange 2.2 million, according to the regulator.