The recent launch of the Airtel Kenya Feelanga Free offer has stirred up mixed reactions within the telecommunications sector of Kenya. The reduction in interconnectivity charges by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) led to decreased calling rates for mobile phone subscribers. However, the level of competition in the sector has exceeded expectations, resulting in calling rates as low as 1 Kenyan shilling per minute, as seen in the Airtel Kenya Feelanga Free offer. Nevertheless, there appears to be some ambiguity surrounding the details of the offer, even from the industry regulator, CCK.

CCK has raised concerns that Airtel Kenya did not provide full disclosure about the Feelanga Free offer, leading subscribers to believe it was a permanent tariff rather than a promotional offer. Consequently, CCK has instructed Airtel to publicly clarify the accurate nature of the Feelanga Free offer. The perception among subscribers is that the offer is a permanent tariff, which contradicts Airtel's claim that it is merely a promotional offer starting from January 13. Airtel has been directed to comply with the promotional guidelines outlined in the Kenya Information and Communications (Tariff) Regulation, 2010.

According to these regulations, operators are required to furnish CCK with comprehensive information about promotions, including the duration, while ensuring full disclosure to subscribers. Failure to meet these guidelines may result in the discontinuation of the promotion, and non-compliance could lead to a fine of up to 1 million Kenyan shillings or a three-year prison term upon conviction.

Since the inception of the Airtel Kenya Feelanga Free offer, other mobile service providers, including Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, along with industry bodies, have lodged complaints with CCK. They argue that the prices set by Airtel are detrimental to the industry and the country's economy. Some providers have even suggested that CCK should regulate prices by implementing a minimum rate per minute. However, CCK has rejected this proposal, stating that it will not intervene in fixing prices.

The intense competition in the telecommunications sector has led to a decline in revenue for mobile service providers, particularly from voice calls, prompting them to explore alternative revenue streams such as data services. Safaricom, the industry leader in terms of market share and number of subscribers, currently offers 3G services, while Airtel Kenya is expected to roll out its 3G services in the near future. Orange Kenya is also in the process of acquiring the necessary license. Overall, technology in Africa is rapidly becoming a prominent business venture for companies operating in various sectors.