Airtel slashes Roaming Charges for Subscribers across 16 African Countries


Airtel has unveiled a product dubbed “One Airtel” that will allow Airtel Kenya customers to enjoy a flat rate when roaming across 16 countries in Africa. The ‘One Airtel’ service allows inbound roamers or visiting subscribers from all Airtel Africa countries to be treated as local customers in the visited country in terms of pricing, including receiving calls free of charge while retaining their home SIM card.

The new rates will apply in Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, DRC, Gabon, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Burkina Faso and Madagascar. With the new service, Airtel customers will roam on any of the Airtel networks for only Ksh. 12 per minute for all local calls within the country, and Ksh 35 per minute for any call back to Kenya or for an international call. Receiving calls while roaming still remains free of charge for the first 100  minutes a month. Sending an SMS message will cost just Ksh.17 compared to the market rate which stands at Ksh 20 per minute. Incoming SMSes are free.

The effects of the One Airtel Network, will apply where an Airtel Kenya customer is traveling to Madagascar. The subscriber will get upto 85% discount when making calls back to Kenya at Ksh 35 down from Ksh. 227.30 per minute. Airtel Kenya customers will be charged Ksh 12 while making calls within Madagascar down from Ksh 37 per minute. This is in comparison to the market’s Ksh 35 while making calls within Madagascar and  Ksh 285 while making calls back to Kenya.

A while back, East African Community head of states signed an agreement dubbed “One Network”. The agreement stipulated that starting this year, Telcos in member countries would take significant measures aimed at reducing roaming charges. Telcos in Kenya lowered their charges for subscribers across the region with Airtel Kenya lowering the roaming charges for its users to Kshs 9 per minute down from Kshs 23 in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The One Airtel service has seen a further reduction of these charges where Airtel Kenya SMS rates to and within Uganda and Rwanda have been reduced to Ksh. 6/-. Previously, customers used to pay from Ksh. 13/- while roaming and Ksh. 10/-  for international SMS to the two countries. Voice calls to and within these countries will remain the same at the rate of Ksh. 10 per minute.