Airtel Launches Tubonge to take on Safaricom’s FLEX
Tubonge becomes the latest product to be launched in Kenya’s telecommunications industry.
Airtel Kenya launched the new voice bundle that will give its customers 100 minutes of talk time for Airtel to Airtel calls per day. The plan also includes a Ksh. 2 calling rate to other networks.
This plan comes with three options:
Daily offer for Ksh. 10
Weekly offer for Ksh. 50
Monthly offer for Ksh. 150
To subscribe for any of the above Tubonge plans, dial *544# and select “Tubonge”, this will take you to a screen with the three options.
The Tubonge plan targets Kenyans from all walks of life especially those that rely on voice calls as their preferred mode of communication.
Speaking during the launch, Airtel Kenyan CEO Prasanta Das Sarma stated that Tubonge was created to make the lives of Airtel users easier since it offers affordability. Sarma added that customers remain the core of the company’s business and that is why it developed a product that gives them value for their money while meeting their communication needs effectively.
Sarma expressed Airtel’s commitment to continue investing in the Kenyan market and ensure that its customers continue to enjoy affordable and innovative products.
Tubonge is available to all prepaid customers.
Tubonge vs. FLEX
Tubonge comes barely a week after Safaricom launched FLEX, a product that allows customers to allocate their airtime for data, calls, and SMS. There are clear differences between the two plans.
The first difference is the plans’ components. FLEX allows you to convert your airtime with voice, SMS, and data. On the other hand, Tubonge is a voice bundle.
The target market for both products seems to differ. While Safaricom has claimed that the FLEX plan is targeted at all its’ users the numbers tell a different story. The least amount for the FLEX plan is Ksh. 100 daily which is a bit high for the common man. The price tags have been described as exorbitant in various social media platforms. The Ksh. 10 for the lowest Tubonge plan is definitely targeting the average Kenyan.
By launching Tubonge, Airtel Kenya is creating the impression that it understands the struggling middle class which makes the majority of the population. This product is expected to earn Airtel Kenya new subscribers by the end of the year. Whether that happens, we can only wait to see.
It is, however, rumored that Safaricom is set to launch a FLEX-like plan that will cater to the needs of the common mwananchi. If this is true, it will have a competitive advantage given its high numbers of subscribers.
Airtel and other telecoms have complained about Safaricom’s dominance and its effect on them for quite some time. Safaricom has, however, dismissed such allegations by arguing that it has never abused its dominance.
It is, therefore, interesting to see Airtel launch a product that will take on Safaricom’s FLEX. However, the availability of more than one option is welcome as it gives customers a chance to opt for the product that meets their needs.