Airtel Kenya looks to change game after adopting 2.55M yu Subscribers
Airtel Kenya has announced that it has finalized an agreement with Essar Telecom Kenya Limited (ETKL), which operates as YuMobile telecom service in Kenya, for the acquisition of its part of its business in Kenya after YuMobile received approval for the transaction from Communication Authority (CA).
The agreement which will now be filed with Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) for the requisite approval will see Airtel acquire the company’s 2.55 million subscribers and System for Mobile (GSM) communications licenses. The 2.55 million customers will join Airtel’s Kenya’s 5.3 million customers, growing its customer base by 50% to 7.85 million and customer market share to 25%.
However, compared to Safaricom’s 20 million plus subscribers, Airtel’s 7.85 million subscribers are a drop in the ocean.
DW and biNu cooperate for success in emerging African mobile markets
With this new partnership, Deutsche Welle (DW) is doing its part to ensure that mobile users in Africa have access to news and information – even those without an Internet connection at home or a smartphone.
DW has teamed up with biNu, an innovative rich content delivery platform that allows feature phones to fully access online news providers like DW. Since June, biNu has provided valuable DW content to audiences in Africa that were previously inaccessible.
The platform already has 900,000 active users all over Africa, with the majority located in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Technological and political hindrances make it difficult for people in these locations to easily access information online. By cooperating with biNu, DW can meet the demands of mass audiences in these regions for high-quality and affordable mobile news and information. “The app is an important step towards clearly improving access to DW’s online content in these countries,” said Sevan Ibrahim-Sauer, DW’s Head of Distribution for Africa. “Zimbabwe and Ethiopia are countries where it is especially hard to obtain a foothold because of the difficult political situation. That makes this partnership even more gratifying.”
In many of DW’s African target regions, low-tech 2G cell phones, also called feature phones, are the primary means of Internet connectivity where there are few networks which can support the data requirements of smartphones and high-speed broadband connections are also scarce and expensive.The biNu platform essentially turns feature phones with a basic Internet connection into “virtual smartphones” by using cloud-based, content optimization technology to reduce data demand and dependency on expensive networks. Processes that would normally require a large amount of computing power are performed in the cloud, allowing the end result to be easily used via a feature phone.
The Australia-based biNu provides service that is 10 times faster than a standard mobile browser and uses 10 times less bandwidth.
Even as smartphone technology continues to improve, the majority of the world’s cell phones remain feature phones. The primary reason for this in developing markets is the high cost of buying and using smartphones. Through this new cooperation with biNu, DW reaches a significant and exclusive audience by being able to provide content on feature phones.