Signed in September 2014 andlaunched early November, Equitel, Airtel’s first ever MVNO in partnership with Equity Bank now reports to have signed up over 700,000 susbcribers to date, 70% of them using the banks mobile and financial services day by day.
According to a report issued today by Airtel, “Equitel has in about 6 months of operations grown its MVNO customer base to over 600,000 subscribers, over 70% of these actively using both the mobile and financial services offered by the MVNO.”
The Equity Bank MVNO partnership is rolling out a new paper-thin SIM card that is affixed on the primary traditional SIM card, potentially converting each handset into a ‘dual’ SIM handset and eliminating the need to purchase a new handset. This ultimately lowers the barrier to entry for the budget constrained consumer and low-income segment while fulfilling their need for mobile and financial services.
Airtel Africa CEO Mr. Christian De Faria commented, “We strongly believe that the entry of the MVNO into the Kenyan market will stimulate and sustain overall market growth through a new range of innovative products and service propositions that will give more choice and value to consumers. Our MVNO with Equity Bank offers an ideal model of collaboration between banks and telecoms, allowing convergence of mobile and banking, with the customer in mind”.
De Faria said this after Airtel won a Global Award at the prestigious MVNO Industry World Congress in Nice, France as the best ‘best wholesale operator’ underscoring its innovation and differentiation agenda following its MVNO launch in its Kenyan Market in April 2014.
In March, Equitel said it had 420,000 subscribers.