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Kenya Airways and Airtel sign MVNO agreement

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Airtel and Kenya Airways have today penned an agreement that will introduce the national carrier as another Mobile Virtual Network Operator, (MVNO), opening another innovative chapter in the telecoms industry in Africa.

In the agreement, Airtel will host Kenya Airways as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, (MVNO) on its Kenyan Network.

The MOU between the two companies was signed this morning by the Kenya Airways CEO and Managing Director, Dr. Titus Naikuni and the Airtel Africa CEO, Mr Christian de Faria, at the Kenya Airways Headquarters in Embakasi, Nairobi.

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Kenya AIrwayUnder the agreement Airtel will provide network infrastructure services to Kenya Airways, the leading African airline flying to more African destinations than any other carrier. This means the Kenya Airways MVNO will provide cellular mobile services including customer registration, SIM card issuance, billing and customer care to end users without holding a spectrum license.


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Dr. Naikuni pointed out that further details on the official launch and related details will be announced at a later stage once the necessary regulatory licensing and related requirements have been completed, a process which has already been initiated with the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK).


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Being a trendsetting move, the partnership is also geared at deepening mobile penetration and providing innovative value added services, Airtel and Kenya Airways have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deliver an MVNO service for the airline, subject to regulatory approvals.


In this venture, Kenya Airways, will rely on its existing customer service and sales infrastructure such as its sales offices and customer contact centre.


In a joint statement issued by the two companies, Airtel, noted that it was delighted to be the mobile operator that is pioneering this innovation in the Telecoms Industry in Africa, clarifying that the MVNO services will run on the unused capacity on its network, ensuring that it maintains seamless quality experience to consumers.


Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria said “We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision with Kenya Airways andthe common urgency to find solutions that will enable travelling customers connect to their loved ones and businesses throughout their travel. It is a pioneering step forward in the industry in our quest to make telephony and m-commerce available to all in Africa, thereby improving people’s quality of life and helping economic growth.”


On his part, Kenya Airways, Managing Director, Dr Naikuni, explained that the roll out of a mobile service by the airline is part of a strategic direction geared at enhancing customer value for its guests while diversifying its revenue streams.


The MVNO solution will specifically appeal to millions of Kenya Airways guests seeking a convenient, available, accessible and affordable roaming service and experience. Last year, Kenya Airways offered to the market a capacity of 14.1 Million Available Seats Per Kilomotre which represented a 1.8% growth from the previous year.


“At Kenya Airways, we are now moving towards a strategic direction that affords us an opportunity to meet our guests’ needs aboard our aircrafts and also extend the same brand value to their communication needs through an affordable option,” Dr Naikuni stressed.


Adding that:“Through this partnership with Airtel, we are optimistic that our guests will soon be enjoying a service that allows them better calling rates while in Kenya or roaming within the wide Airtel network.”


The airline which is currently rolling out a strategy geared at providing seamless connections between Intra Africa points to destinations in the Far East and beyond will through KQ MVNO, further raise its brand positioning as the leading African Airline.



KQ now joins CAK- licensed Zioncell, Tangaza Pesa and Finserve Africa, (a subsidiary of Equity Bank) as MNVOs, allowing them to provide all forms of mobile cellular services to customers using the communications infrastructure of an existing mobile network operator.

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Susan Mwenesi
Susan Mwenesi
Interested in business, technology and all things startups in Africa!

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