CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

1 September 2014

Kenya: Yumobile Buyout Pushes Airtel Kenya's Subscribers to 7.85 Million, 25 Per Cent of the Market

Airtel Kenya has increased its subscriber numbers from 5.3 million to 7.85 million following the joint yuMobile acquisition together with Safaricom.

This follows an announcement from Bharti head offices that it had finalized an agreement by Essar Telecom Limited - which operated the yuMobile brand - for the acquisition of part of its business in Kenya.

Essar recently received the final approval for the joint US $ 120 million transaction from Communication Authority (CA). The acquisition of yuMobile's 2.7 million subscribers now pushes Airtel Kenya's market share to 25 per cent.

According to Communication Authority's third quarter sector statistics for the period between January - March 2014, Airtel Kenya had 5,251,087 users on its network while yuMobile had 2,557,630. During the period under review, Safaricom had 21,567,388 susbcribers, accounting for 68 per cent market share while Orange Kenya had 2,453,898 subscribers, equivalent to 7.7 per cent market share.

In a statement following upon the announcement of the new deal, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi stated that the Airtel network has operated in Kenya over the last 14 years, explaining that the company's acquisition of the yuMobile license and its entire customer base is a re-affirmation of its commitment and intention to continue growing its business and building its brand in Kenya for the longer term.

Adil assured yuMobile subscribers that while they will move to Airtel with their current yuMobile numbers, they will continue to enjoy their current services in addition to Airtel Kenya's superior quality national network.

The yuMobile subscribers will also gain access to Airtel's state of the art 3G network (yuMobile customers do not currently have 3G services), guaranteeing them unmatched fast connection speeds to internet across the country; enabling them to browse and connect with friends and family on social media with ease.

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