Airtel and Telkom Kenya to merge to take on Safaricom

Airtel Networks and Telkom Kenya announced their decision to merge businesses in Kenya to operate as Airtel – Telkom in order to strengthen presence in Africa.

Airtel did not reveal the financial details of the merger. Airtel is the second largest telecom operator in Kenya, while Telkom is the third largest. The dominant telecom player in Kenya is Safaricom with 65.4 percent .

Airtel-Telkom will become a strong number two operator in terms of both revenues and subscribers. Airtel-Telkom will have 31 percent customer market . The entity will invest in networks to further accelerate roll out of future technologies.

The agreement will provide Airtel Kenya the advantage and access to Telkom Kenya’s Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses.

The enterprise and carrier services businesses should benefit from a larger fibre footprint and an increased number of enterprise customers – including both large corporations and SMEs in Kenya.

The latest statistics report indicates that Kenya has 45.4 million mobile customers as of Oct 2018.

Safaricom has 29.7 million customers for 65.4 percent market in Kenya. Airtel is the second largest telecom operator with 9.7 million customers for 21.4 percent in Kenya. Telkom has 3.8 million customers for 8.9 percent . Finserve has 1.9 million customers for 4.3 percent in Kenya.

Airtel Kenya had voice market of 33.3 percent and mobile data market of 21.9 percent in September 2018, according to Kenya Communications Authority.

Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa has 97.92 million mobile phone customers in 14 nations including Kenya. Airtel Africa’s ARPU is $3 per month. Airtel Africa revenues rose 11.2 percent to $853 million in Q3 fiscal 2018-19.

Airtel Africa says its customer churn for the third quarter fell to 4.7 percent as compared to 4.8 percent in the previous quarter. Total minutes on network during the quarter clocked 25.1 percent growth to 52.4 billion.

Airtel Africa added 5.9 million data customers to take the total number of data subscriber base to 29.3 million. as compared to 23.3 million in the same quarter last year. Data customers represent 29.9 percent of the total customer base. The total MBs on the network grew at 60.7 percent to 105.3 billion MBs. Data usage per customer was 1,248 MBs as compared to 997 MBs.

Airtel Africa’s capital expenditure during the third quarter was $170 million, largely on account of investment in data capacities and network modernization. The company had 20,582 network towers vs 19,054 network. It has 15,734 mobile broadband towers. The company has 29,650 mobile broadband base stations.