Airtel Kenya Managing Director Adil El Youssetta has lauded the government for licensing three Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), which do not own a communication infrastructure.
“Kenyans are hungry for choice. The move will not only provide a chance to compete on equal grounds but also allow for innovation,” said Youssetta.
He was speaking in Eldoret during the launch of their flagship store in the town. The Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) licensed Zioncell, Tangaza Pesa and Fincell (a subsidiary of Equity Bank) as MNVOs, allowing them to provide all forms of services to customers using the communications infrastructure of any mobile network operator. This means the three new operators can provide cellular mobile money services without holding a spectrum licence. All the three MNVOs will utilise Airtel Kenya’s infrastructure.
It comes after a mobile money transfer partnership between Safaricom and Equity Bank’s M-Kesho failed.
Youssetta announced the introduction of the newly unveiled Airtel Money Visa Card, which he said is the first innovation of its kind in the market. “With this card you can withdraw money at any Visa ATM at any time of the day and week and does not require an agent besides being used to directly pay for transactions at any Visa terminals,” he said.
He said they are still working towards acquisition of Yu which, if successful, will significantly scale up their market share.