Airtel Kenya has taken the lead in the telecommunication industry to roll out new prefix number series 0100, 0101 and 0102 to its subscribers after the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) introduced the new prefixes. New and existing customers of Airtel can select a number from the new series.
Speaking during the roll-out of the new prefixes, Airtel Kenya CEO Prasanta Das Sarma urged mobile subscribers to be the first to access the new numbers by registering with Airtel adding that the new prefixes will address the increase in demand for SIM cards and access to data services.
“We are glad to be the first telco to roll out the new prefix numbers and we urge Kenyans looking for new connections to visit any of our SIM selling outlets or Airtel shops and get their new numbers. The new Airtel numbers will be 4G enabled thus allowing customers to continue enjoying the wide array of data products and services,” said Sarma.
Airtel Kenya has seen the number of its subscribers grow from 11.6 million customers to currently, 13.3 million. Therefore, the rollout of the new prefix numbers will address the increase in demand for SIM cards, access to data services and other technological advancements.
This growth saw the Telco firm being offered three million out of the five million numbers under the new prefix. The gains by Airtel, have been sustained by an aggressive hunt for subscribers.
However, with the pending merger with Telkom Kenya expected to be sealed this month, Telkom Kenya did not apply for the new prefixes.
The new numbers were launched by the CA in May when director-general Francis Wangusi said that the new prefixes were necessitated by increased demand for SIM cards, mobile data, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
He said that the telecom companies had already been issued with 5 million numbers under the new prefix.
“The introduction of the new mobile numbering prefix 01 is in line with the National Numbering Plan developed in 2002 by the Authority, in consultation with ICT industry operators and other stakeholders.”
The new numbers will also be allocated to operators of land fixed numbers (landlines), premium-rate numbers, toll-free numbers, and shortcodes, among others.