Safaricom will not reduce its calling costs as competitors Airtel did two days ago to fuel price wars, CEO Bob Collymore has said. Speaking to media, he was emphatic that while in the past they have been tempted and did reduce costs, they would later return it because it was unsustainable.
Safaricom charges sh4 a minute for calls, double the costs of competitors.
While announcing the sh2 per minute, Airtel said that the “2 bob tariff is a statement of our determination to continue to drive positive change in the country’s telecoms industry by ensuring a steady stream of innovative, value for money products and service offerings in the market.”
It added that for all new customers, the sh2 offering will be a default tariff while existing customers will simply have to dial *544*2# and opt into the service with no conditions.
On its part, Telkom Kenya charges its customers Sh2 a minute to make calls on-net and Sh3 per minute to other networks.
Mr. Collymore who this week returned to the country after nine months of medical treatment, explained that their investments in the sector is important and helps them keep a competitive edge. “We won’t move prices as we have to maintain a sustainable business,” he said.
The Safaricom CEO also registered his thoughts on the ongoing SIM Swap fraud that has bedeviled the telco with some of its staff arrested saying that while they do extensive vetting of staff during the hiring process, it is not a guarantee that their integrity will always be guaranteed. He said their solution is embracing more technology like biometrics. Collymore added that 12 employees have been charged in the last five months in various crimes.
He expressed confidence in the management team that has led the organization during his absence, affirming that he is looking to further work with them as he finishes his contract. His contract was to expiry in August 2017 but was extended for two years to August 2019.
Bob Collymore took over from Michael Joseph, the founding Safaricom CEO in August 2010.
Speaking on his treatment, he said he underwent a successful Leukemia treatment after finding an American donor who had a 100 per cent match. As he monitors his movements and interactions, he says the telco will be looking to deepen their support to cancer patients and institutions like the Africa Cancer Foundation and the Pediatric and Oncology Children Ward at the Kenyatta National Hospital among others.
“I hope we can work more with care givers, families and in advocacy,” he asserted.