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Businessman who wrestled with telco giants and won the battle for cheap Kenyan calls from the diaspora

By Pauline Nyumu

Making calls within Kenya and to Kenya from the diaspora is never easy. You will have to deal with the ever increasing calling rates, unclear international calls and long distance call dropping. This is why AirTalk has introduced VoIP calling solutions for offices, homes and Kenyans across the world. We are a licensed Application Service Provider (ASP) in Kenya seeking to help Kenyans everywhere in the world to make cheap calls to any Kenyan number using a local number regardless of their location.

 “The Market Came to Us”

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AirTalk VoIP is a product of AirTouch Connections Ltd. The company started in 2006 as a small cyber café in Parklands, serving the Indian population around.

“We were installing home Wi-Fi to our clients and provided other cyber café services in Ngara and Parklands neighborhoods,” AirTouch Lead Director, Dominic M. Ogeto, says.

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After a few years of serving the Indian population in Parklands, they started asking for a solution to call back home.

“They came to us and said they wanted to make cheap calls from Kenya to India. At that time, international calls from Kenya were unaffordable. It would cost around Kes. 90 per minute to call India or the US,” he explains, adding that this forced them to come up with a solution for their clients.

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“Smartphones had not yet come into the market. Having traveled widely abroad while working for ExxonMobil, I had learnt about calling back home cheaply through the internet while in Brussels, Belgium in 2001. Back home we later got a license from Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) in 2007 and build calling booths where people would call abroad for Kes 15 per minute. We always had a long queue of people coming to make international calls.”

War that almost crippled AirTalk VoIP services

After a while, the innovative entrepreneur found ways to make cheap international calls without visiting the cyber café.

“We introduced calling PINs that our clients would use to make cheap international calls through our VoIP Gateways.”

However, when the leading Telecoms found that we were offering a cheap alternative for international calls from Kenya, they declared war on AirTalk VoIP.

After winning a dispute against Telkom Kenya and Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd (YU) and a court battle with Essar Telecom, Airtel Kenya Networks decided to reduce their international calling rates.

 “We woke up one day to find a full page advert on the national dailies (Page 7) telling Kenyans to call India, USA and Canada for only Kes 3/=. Our business stopped abruptly,” recounts Mr. Ogeto. It was shocking and devastating!

Recovery from the heavy loss

Since they had invested a lot of money on their Internet Protocol (IP) switching network for cheap international calls from Kenya, they had to think fast on how to recover from the sudden loss.

That is how they changed their model and introduced VoIP calling system for Kenyans in the diaspora.

“Our VoIP calling system allows Kenyans to make cheap calls from anywhere in the world. Once you download the AirTalk VoIP app or buy an IP phone for your office or home, we give you a virtual Kenyan phone number that allows you to make local calls for as low as Kes 1/= per minute. Calls within our app are free of charge.”

Cheap VoIP calls within and to Kenya

Today, AirTalk VoIP system supports personal calls, business calls through the IP office extension system, and residential calls. You can make cheap calls to and within Kenya using your local Kenyan phone number from anywhere in the world. All you need is a strong Wi-Fi internet or at least a 4G mobile data signal.

AirTalk App is available for download from both the Apple App Store https://apps.apple.com/app/airtalk-voip/id1531682790 and Google Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.airtalk.rcs. You can also use your desktop or laptop to create and or access your account. Just follow this link: https://voip.airtouch.co.ke/VUP/login.

To configure your office or home IP phone for AirTalk VoIP calls, get in touch with the support team via [email protected]

Benefits of AirTalk VoIP Calling Solutions

1. High Quality VoIP Calls

Calls to Kenya within our switching platforms are of premium quality. We use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to route your calls to Kenyan Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) numbers. We have also ensured our data centre has enough server and internet resources to route stable quality voice calls at all times.

2. Secure Calls

With end-to-end encryptions, our switching platforms give the assurance of confidentiality. Customer data is well secured and not accessible to any third party whatsoever.

3. Easy to Sign Up & Use

Our AirTalk VoIP App is well designed to accommodate users at all levels. You create and activate your account in a few minutes. Just fill in the registration form https://voip.airtouch.co.ke/VUP/login) and activate your account through email or SMS to get started.

4. Cheapest Calls Ever!

Our AirTalk VoIP covers calls to selected countries across the globe. We however have a competitive advantage for call to Kenya numbers as we have direct interconnections with Kenya Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Calling rate to Kenya fixed lines and mobile lines from the diaspora is 6.00¢/min. Incoming and peer to peer calls are free. You get charged for outgoing off-net calls only.

When you call Kenya phone numbers using AirTalk, $5 gives you 83.33 minutes while $10 gives you 166.67 minutes. This is value for your money.

5. Transparent Billing

AirTalk VoIP uses per second billing; you pay for the exact duration to the second. Our in-App billing feature puts everything clear and in perspective. There are no hidden charges or surprise surcharges. You can always view your account balance and Call Detail Report (CDR) any time from your AirTalk App.

6. Free Virtual Kenya Phone Number

For the security of your calls, AirTalk VoIP App only allows you to make calls to and receive calls from Kenyan numbers once you purchase a personal Kenya Direct Inward Dialing (DID) number, which is currently zero-rated. You pay nothing for your Kenya DID! Setting up your Kenya DID number is free. The monthly rental fee is currently zero-rated. This allows you to receive quality premium voice calls at best price.

7. Make Local Calls from Anywhere in the World

We are the industry leader in the VoIP and Value Added Services (VAS) sector in Kenya. Our company has a reputation for excellence and reliability in service delivery. We only supply a solution after thorough research and testing so as to minimize costs of system change and downtime for our clients.

8. Always up to Date

AirTalk VoIP App has an in-built mechanism that updates to the latest version to guarantee your security and safety.

Want to Make Cheap and Free Calls in and to Kenya from the Diaspora? Download AirTalk VoIP App today to Get Started

AirTalk VoIP app by AirTouch Connections Ltd is one of the best free calling apps available. We are licensed by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) as an Application Service Provider (ASP) in Kenya to provide international calling solution for Kenyans across the world. We are interconnected and use Network Facilities Provider (NFP) network to transport our VoIP services, and our license from CA allows us to generate virtual Kenyan numbers from the allocated numbering plan to facilitate cheap calls to and within Kenya.

With AirTalk VoIP App, you can call any telephone number (Fixed and Mobile lines) in Kenya from anywhere in the world. To enjoy cheap and free calls in and to Kenya, download the AirTalk App from Apple App Store (https://apps.apple.com/app/airtalk-voip/id1531682790), Google Play Store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.airtalk.rcs), or sign up on the web (https://voip.airtouch.co.ke/VUP/login) to make cheap web to phone calls.

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