Exciting news for internet enthusiasts in Kenya as Airtel unveils its long-awaited 3G network. Bharti Airtel Kenya, the country's second-largest mobile service provider in terms of subscribers, is known for offering affordable voice call tariffs and internet bundles. Previously, Airtel faced limitations in exploring the data segment of mobile telephony due to its reliance on GPRS/EDGE technology, while its main competitor, Safaricom, already operates on a 3G network and has plans to upgrade to 4G by year-end.

Nairobi residents have noticed the appearance of a WCDMA/UMTS signal on their Airtel mobile phones and modems, indicating the presence of a 3G network. While Airtel is yet to confirm this migration, I believe it is important to share this fantastic news with fellow internet enthusiasts in Kenya. It's where affordability meets speed, and Safaricom should prepare for another challenge to its dominance. Many curious internet users on Airtel's network within the Nairobi area have observed the WCDMA/UMTS signal.

The launch of Airtel's 3G internet connection in Kenya holds significant importance, particularly in terms of offering affordable data bundles and improved connection speeds to Airtel subscribers. It is expected that Airtel will maintain or even reduce current internet browsing charges, posing a threat to Safaricom's dominance in the mobile data sector. In a highly competitive market, Kenyan mobile service providers have already engaged in a price war, resulting in reduced voice call charges. Airtel introduced the lowest tariff, known as "feelanga free," which charges subscribers only Ksh.1 per minute within its network.

The recent battle among mobile service providers escalated with the introduction of mobile number portability in Kenya. This service allows subscribers to switch to any network of their choice without changing their current phone numbers. Airtel and Safaricom have since blamed each other for delays and timeouts in the porting process, leading to Safaricom taking legal action and accusing Airtel and Porting Access of unfair practices.

Additionally, Orange Telkom Kenya is expected to roll out its 3G services by the end of the year, increasing the number of mobile subscribers on 3G networks to three. Bharti Airtel's strategy to become the most affordable service provider in Kenya for both data and voice calls poses a significant challenge to Safaricom's ambitions. This is evident in Safaricom's recent 13% reduction in profits. While Safaricom may already operate on a 3G network, their rates remain relatively high, giving Airtel a better chance to establish itself as a major player in mobile data provision.

If you currently own a Safaricom modem and wish to enjoy Airtel's affordable rates on their 3G network, fret not. Simply unlock your modem using the IMEI number and change the modem's APN settings to match those of Airtel. Prepare to experience the best internet connection speeds at significantly lower rates.