Zain announces 60% cut in mobile phone charges in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya's second mobile phone operator, Zain, has announced a drastic reduction in phone call charges to its customers calling to all networks with its newly unveiled call charges guidelines, which allow clients to call at 60 per cent less.

Zain Kenya Managing Director Rene Meza said Thursday the mobile phone firm was offering phone call charges at a lower rate of Ksh 8 per minute (Ksh 73.75=US$ 1), inclusive of all government taxes to all networks on a per-second billing platform.

"We are happy that our subscribers will continue enjoying the most affordable rates in the mobile industry and now calling any network in Kenta, 24 hours a day, " Meza said.

Zain, which transformed its name from Celtel in a continental re-branding exercise, said its change of identity was "well received" and its campaign to recruit new customers was progressing better than its competitors, Safaricom and lately Telkom Kenya's Orange.

Zain subscribers on the new Vuka Tariff, will pay a flat rate fee of Ksh3 inclusive of all taxes on all Short Messages Service (SMS), a reduction from the Ksh5 that subscribers have been paying to text customers in other network operators.

Meza said the changes in its call tariffs made it the cheapest and most affordable service provider in Kenya.

Safaricom, the market leader, currently charges Ksh10 for calls within its network and Ksh25 for other calls going to other mobile operators.

The latest market entrant, Orange has also launched its new tariffs, offering call charges at Ksh7 per minute on calls within its own network and charging Ksh14 for calls to other networks.

Meza said the launch of the new image has seen the mobile operator taking some 500,000 new subscribers since it changed its corporate identity.

He said the One-Area Network, which allows Zain subscribers to roam freely with their phones across 15 African countries had seen it get additional 0.5 million Africans enroll into its network, making it its best bet against competition.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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