Safaricom has introduced a new promotion aimed at encouraging consumers to talk more on its network and in return enjoy up to 75 per cent discount on their calling rates.
The promotion comes at a time when Safaricom's market share has come under increasing pressure from its rivals.
The mobile operator on Monday unveiled the promotion dubbed Wakenya Tuongee.
Safaricom subscribers will now pay Sh 4 for the first minute of their call, Sh3 for calls between 1 and 2 minutes and Sh 2 for the calls that last between 2 and 3 minutes. Calls that last for more than 3 minutes will be charged at Sh 1.
The promotion runs from the 24th of July to 23rd of August 23 2012,
Safaricom’s Chief Executive Bob Collymore said the promotional offer has been informed by the need to reward loyal customers by allowing them to communicate longer.
“One of the outstanding attributes at Safaricom is our customer focus. And so on a periodic basis we always review our customer propositions with a view to enhancing the Safaricom experience for our customers."
The Chief Executive Officer explained that the Wakenya Tuongee promotion has also been informed by insights that indicate that a majority of customers talk for less than two minutes. The promotion is aimed at encouraging customers to talk more with their families, friends and business partners.
The Wakenya Tuongee promotion will only apply to Pre-Paid customers making Safaricom-to-Safaricom calls from 6am to 6pm. Customers will be required to subscribe to the it by dialing *777# to enjoy the promotion which will be charged on a per second billing basis.
The usual calling rates for customers calling other networks within Kenya and international calls will remain.
With over 19 million subscribers, Safaricom remains the market leader in the telecommunications sector.
But the latest data from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) shows that Safaricom further lost its market share, albeit marginally to it rivals.
The near free call rates charged by mobile firm Essar Telecom’s yuMobile lifted its subscriptions by 14.5 per cent, the highest growth, in the first three months of the year.
All operators however registered growth in subscription numbers. The results are for third quarter of the financial year 2011/12, January to March.
YuMobile has slashed its calling charges to a flat rate set up fee of Sh5per day for the first minute of calls made within the network every day and its subscribers can call within its network for free.
It however charges Sh3 per minute for off net calls. Safaricom however still reported the highest gain in absolute values was at 386,777 new subscriptions -- representing a quarterly growth of 2.1 per cent. Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya gained 209,447 and 210,370 new subscriptions.
Safaricom‘s market share by subscription declined from 66.6 per cent in the previous quarter to 65.3 per cent during the quarter under review.
Essar Telecom Kenya Limited gained the largest market share (0.8 percentage points), followed by Telkom Kenya Limited - Orange (0.3 percentage points) and Airtel Networks Kenya Limited (0.1 percentage points).
Thus, at the end of the quarter, market shares by subscription for Airtel, Telkom (Orange) and Essar stood at 15.3 per cent, 10.6 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively.