Airtel Kenya Finally Launches it 3G Network, Focuses More on Affordability

Posted In Business - By robertalai On Saturday, February 25th, 2012 With 5 Comments

Airtel Kenya finally launched its 3G network officially just as we predicted. The service provider launched what it claimed to be “fastest mobile internet in Kenya” with the COO preferring that users call it “Airtel 3.75G because it is way better than the usual 3G platforms available in the country.”

At the launch, Airtel showed all signs that its voice war with Safaricom might just be replicated in the data sector. The Bharti Airtel owned provider adopted the *544# code to access its data offerings which might be viewed as easing the  user experience while others might view it as a nudge on Safaricom to realise its presence.

With the newly launched 3G network which has been live in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu since mid 2011, Airtel Kenya promises “profound changes to how subscribers in the Kenya experience the web on internet-enabled devices”. The network is a 3G HSPSA+ technology with top speeds of up to 21 Mbps. The 21Mbps is the most superior widely-available network in Kenya except for Safaricom which is already testing a 42Mbps link in some upmarket parts of Nairobi.

Airtel Kenya 3G bundle pricing:

Modem pricing Ksh Offer / Duration
7.2Mbps 1,999 Free 100MB Bundle for 3 Months
21Mbps 4,500 Free 100MB Bundle for 3 Months
The Easy Bundles for the light users
5MB 3.00 24 hours
10MB 6.00 24 hours
20MB 15.00 24 Hours
The Mega Bundle for the Average user
50MB 80.00 30 Days
200MB 199.00 30 Days
500MB 399.00 30 Days
1.5GB 799.00 30 Days
Time base packs
One Day pack 150.00 24 Hours
One Week pack 750.00 168 Hours
The Ultra bundle for the heavy users
3GB 1,499.00 30 Days
4GB 2,999.00 30 Days
8GB 4,999.00 30 Days
The Power Bundle for the businessman
20GB 7,999.00 90 Days

*From the above bundle, you will realise that Airtel Kenya has removed the one month unlimited bundle offer”

Airtel Kenya is targeting almost all kinds of data consumers with Corporates, Small or Medium Businesses and the Youth specifically mentioned as key markets. The 3G services is currently available in Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Naivasha, Nairobi and Thika with a promise to connect 85% of Kenya within the next 9 to 12 months.

Mr. Shivan Bhargava, chief operating officer, Airtel Kenya said

“Airtel doesn’t see 3G as a product but a platform that enables the community expand its social and commercial horizons, alongside the rest of the world. Our 3.75G platform will allow customers to combine the enormous potential of the internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other devices. It will liberate the potential of our youth, through enabling fast access to the Internet for social networking, creating, accessing and sharing learning content like e-books and music.”

The Airtel kenya 3G network was built in collaboration with Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson. Present at the launch, Dimitri Diliani, Head of Africa Region, Nokia Siemens Networks said:

“With our strong products and services portfolio, we will partner and support Bharti Airtel to deliver HSPA+ technology, which will enable their customers in Kenya to enjoy high-speed mobile Internet services. This technology will enable Bharti Airtel deliver a unique experience to their customers.”

For 7 days, Airtel Kenya is giving all those who wish to sample their new data network 50MB bundle to test what is there for them. For you to enjoy the free 7 day / 50MB – whichever will come first- offer, just send “START” to 544.

The Airtel Kenya bundles have guaranteed speeds of between 364Kbps peak to 3.6Mbps off-peak. The daily and weekly unlimited offers are throttled at 512Kbps which if Airtel is really serious, they might consider making it clock around 1Mbps or higher since their main competition is running a 1Mbps unlimited test which they might make permanent if the network test show that it is sustainable i.e It does not affect voice quality.

About - Robert is an African Tech Blogger, Critic, Net Evangelist, Speaker, Mentor for Young Boys and Girls, Editor @TechMtaa and likes to Provide Sanitary Towels To Poor Women through the DishAPad Initiative

  • D32

    Speed tests pleez?

  • Qool joey Omaita

    Great stuff. The best pricing, the best network. Now Airtel need to get serious about their own version of M-Pesa (airtel money? is that the name?). Deliver us from this Safaring!!!

  • I tested this and it’s great. I hope it’ll be replicated all over the country.

  • Job Kiprop

    Fantastic move, airtel needs to be aggressive a little more on.
    1 Network coverage.
    2 Competitive data bundles.
    3 Mobile money transfer.
       and we will be part of airtel (Tutahama Permanently)

  • Kjohnnes

    I have no problem with Airtel outdoors but there seems to be a never ending problem with its application in most indoors. Working in an environment about 150 meters from its BTS yet the signal indoor is poor around JUJA. They need to work on this fast. I am mostly “MTEJA” yet my phone is on!!! It’s good that they launched this 3.75G platform but am a bit skeptical to rush into it. I have also tried moving to other places within Nai, Buru, Kinangop and others and the signal indoor is weak!!!