African connections

A new partnership between Kenya Airways and Airtel will improve communications across Africa for their customers

AfricanConnectionsIt’s all about connections
With infrastructure that allows people to get places and a telecommunications network that enables people to connect wherever they are, business and enterprise can flourish. In a recent partnership, two of Kenya’s most influential companies – the national carrier Kenya Airways and global communications company Airtel – have come together with many common goals in mind. Making connections is their shared aim and while they are actively connecting people they are busy making improvements to education and the environment – CSR initiatives that they both passionately believe in.

Connecting customers
In a trendsetting move aimed at deepening mobile penetration and providing innovative value added services, Airtel and Kenya Airways have opened a new chapter in the telecoms industry in Africa with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deliver an MVNO service for the airline, subject to regulatory approvals.

Under the agreement, Airtel will provide network infrastructure services to Kenya Airways, which means the Kenya Airways MVNO will provide cellular mobile services including customer registration, SIM card issuance, billing and customer care to its customers across Africa without holding a spectrum license.

Airtel was the pioneer of this innovation in the Telecoms Industry in Africa, and the company is committed to ensuring that it maintains seamless quality experience to its Kenya Airways’ MVNO consumers.  Through this service, the two companies will find solutions that will enable travelling customers to connect to their loved ones and businesses throughout their travel.

This partnership will become a strategic direction that affords Kenya Airways an opportunity to meet its guests’ needs aboard KQ aircraft and also extend the same brand value to their communication needs through an affordable option. Soon Kenya Airways guests will be enjoying a service that allows them better calling rates while in Kenya or roaming within the wide Airtel network.

So why is the penetration of mobile network services crucial to Africa? Firstly, information is power, and with the use of mobile phones comes the ability to find things out. In towns, cities and remote rural areas there is a huge need for mobile technology – for education and for innovation and also for allowing financial transactions. Indeed, whether it is medical workers and their patients accessing medical monitoring and data services or farmers accessing local market prices for their produce (to protect them from ruthless middlemen) mobiles and wireless devices are transforming lives.

“We are greatly encouraged by the shared vision with Kenya Airways and the common urgency to find solutions that will enable travelling customers to connect to their loved ones and businesses throughout their travel. It is a pioneering step forward in the industry in our quest to make telephony and m-commerce available to all in Africa, thereby improving people’s quality of life and helping economic growth.”
Christian de Faria
Airtel Africa CEO

What is an MVNO?
Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers.

Did you know?
By the end of 2014 more than 600 million people in Africa – over 50% of the population – are likely to own a mobile phone, with some researchers estimating penetration could reach 80%.