Bharti Airtel said Friday that its subsidiary Airtel Networks Kenya has inked an agreement with Telkom Kenya to combine operations, including mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses. The combined entity will operate as Airtel-Telkom, and the closure of the deal is subject to statutory approvals, a Bharti Airtel statement said. “As per the agreement, both the partners will combine their operations in Kenya and establish an entity with enhanced scale, operational efficiency and strategic brand presence,” the statement said.
The integrated telecom firm will offer greater choice and convenience for consumers and business customers, it added. “The entity will invest in networks to further accelerate the roll out of future technologies. The Enterprise and Carrier Services businesses should benefit from a larger fibre footprint and an increased number of enterprise customers – including both large corporations and SMEs who would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions,” the company pointed out.
The combined entity has over 31% customer market share as of September 2018. “Airtel Kenya is currently number two operator in Kenya and becomes a strong number two operator in terms of both revenues and subscribers,” said a person familiar with the deal.
In its earnings announcement for December quarter, Bharti Airtel had said that Airtel Africa revenues grew by 11.2% to Rs 5,903.5 crore from Rs 5,284.1 crore in October-December 2017 quarter on account of strong growth in data and Airtel money transaction value. Its data traffic grew by 61%, voice minutes increased by 25% and Airtel Money throughput grew by 29% on a year-on-year basis. Airtel also stated that it would continue to focus only on revenue-generating customers and also looking to increase the subscriber base.