Airtel Kenya’s share of voice market in three months to December fell more than a quarter after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) reported the telecoms operator had been inflating traffic numbers on its network.
The CA in its latest report says that Airtel has been padding numbers by adding both outgoing and incoming calls.
This prompted Airtel to review the way it measures voice traffic in the three months to December, triggering the collapse of its market share.
Regulatory data shows the telco’s share of voice fell to 29.2 percent in the period to December from 40.3 percent posted in the three months to September, the lowest stake since June 2018.
Safaricom’s share of the voice traffic consequently jumped to 67.1 percent in the period to December up from 59.3 percent in three months to September.
“The huge decline in on-net traffic was occasioned by revision made by Airtel Networks Limited, which resulted in a reduction on its on-net voice numbers by almost half, that of the last quarter.”
“The justification provided by the operator was that they had been summing incoming and outgoing on-net traffic in previous quarters instead of providing outgoing traffic only considering that ideally only outgoing traffic is billed,” CA says in the report.
On-net traffic in the three months to December dropped to 13.2 billion minutes from 16.1 billion minutes in the quarter ended September, representing an 18 percent plunge.
This is because the Airtel measure revision saw voice calls on the network fall to 4.4 billion minutes in the period to December from 7.2 billion minutes in the September period.
Safaricom’s voice traffic dropped marginally from 10.08 billion minutes to 10.05 billion in the period under review.
Previous data by CA shows that Airtel’s share of local voice market has been on a steady rise from 12.1 percent posted in March 2017 to hit the 40.3 percent peak.
Airtel subscriber market share now almost matches its call traffic stake, a departure from the previous trend where the two set of data have been apart.
Its subscriber market share stood at 24.6 percent in September while the firm’s voice traffic stake was at 40.3 percent.