Airtel Kenya has terminated its unlimited Internet offering. The company was offering unlimited daily, weekly and monthly Internet offerings till 3rd of March when the company replaced the products with new bundles dubbed EZ Blaze. One Day Blaze will offer 750 Megabytes of Internet at a price of KSh. 199. One Week Blaze will offer 4 Gigabytes of Internet at Ksh. 999 while One Month Blaze will offer 7 Gigabytes of Internet at KSh. 2,999. The bundles including unused capacity will be terminated once the defined time period expires.
The firm launched its 3G services in February 2012, becoming Kenya's third operator to offer 3G services alongside unlimited Internet. It also becomes the second mobile operator to terminate unlimited Internet offering after Safaricom also terminated its offerings in April 2012.
Airtel staff, who spoke anonymously to Dennis Mbuvi, said the move was reached due to abuse of the service by some users who were raking heavy downloads. This led to a situation where the few users using unlimited Internet were consuming most of the mobile operator's Internet capacity. The staff also said it was unclear if the decision was also due to some of Airtel staff who were abusing the offering.
The firm was offering unlimited Internet with no fair usage policy - where a user is given a certain consumption allowance after which they get their speed is pegged to a maximum limit. This means that Airtel Kenya users purchasing unlimited Internet could use as much of the service as the network's capacity could handle.
Orange Kenya offers unlimited Internet with daily usage capped at a speed 256 Kilobits per second (52 kilobytes per second) when the user consumes 2 Gigabytes in a day and monthly Internet also capped at 256 Kbps when the user consumes 20 gigabytes of connectivity. The service continues at the capped speed for the time period the user has paid for; till a day, a week, or a month expires since purchase of the product. Safaricom also offered their Internet under a similar arrangement where users were capped at 512 Kbps (64 kilobytes per second).
Safaricom terminated the service with Safaricom CEO stating then that 1 percent of users were using 70 percent of the Internet capacity. This he said was degrading the experience of other users. The firm however still has trouble meeting 3G demand, especially in Nairobi, since it terminated its unlimited Internet.
Airtel's termination of the offering leaves Orange Kenya as the only mobile operator offering Unlimited 3G Internet. Yu also offers unlimited Internet, but under a 2.75G EDGE network as the operator is yet to apply for a 3G license, opting to instead proceed directly to 4G LTE, which is yet to be launched in Kenya.
Orange Kenya looks committed to continue offering unlimited Internet, and has been collecting feedback from users of its unlimited Internet service with the aim of making responsive changes to better the service. Orange feels it has enough capacity to continue with the offering. Users have been having issues with consistency of the service and the speed caps. Orange offers mobile unlimited Internet for KSh. 50 a day and KSh. 990 a month, and standard unlimited Internet for KSh. 990 a week and KSh. 2,990 a month.