Here you will get complete details on the major mobile networks in Kenya and the services they offer. These services include short message services (SMS), calling services, data bundles, and mobile money services offered by the four main telecommunication companies in Kenya. This is Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, Telkom Kenya and Equitel.


mobile networks Kenya featured image saidia

The mobile network revolution in Kenya in the last few years has created many options for mobile users, for both smartphone and feature phones (kabambe), to have mobile communication easily. At the same time, this has made it overwhelming for Kenyans to choose the best mobile network for them. Especially given the many options that they are given by the four main telecom companies, Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom and Equitel are very competitive.

Telephone communications networks are widely regarded as the backbone of the information society critical to the economy’s growth. Kenya’s telecommunication industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past years. This haste in development can be attributed to the fact that most people own a mobile phone particularly, in urban areas.

In this article, we go through all four telecom companies in Kenya and highlight the main services that they offer. We do this in a simple and detailed manner that will help you, the user, easily makes an informed decision on which mobile network offers you the best service at the best price.

A mobile phone network is also known as a cellular network or mobile network and refers to a communication network where the link to and from end nodes is wireless. In this case, the end nodes mostly refer to your mobile phones and devices.

In 2015, the Communications Authority of Kenya reported that the total number of mobile subscriptions was 34.79 million.

At saidia, we shall breakdown what services each and every mobile network offers. This will include:

  • Call services
  • SMS services
  • Internet and Data bundles for browsing the internet
  • Mobile Money transfer and services
  • Mobile phones and consumer electronics
  • Online shopping / Online stores / Ecommerce
  • Rates charged for the different services.


Mobile networks in Kenya:

Many telecommunication companies have been established in Kenya ever since the beginning of the 20th century. However, the telecommunication sector is dominated by four key players. These four telecom companies are Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom, and Equitel. Each telecommunication company has its market share depending on its products and how each satisfies consumer needs.

What are mobile networks?


safaricom mobile network kenya calls sms internet mobile money ecommerce shops


Safaricom Plc was formerly known as Safaricom Limited and was formed in 1993. With 35.6 million users, as of 2020, Safaricom is the largest mobile network operator in Kenya and commands 64.5% of the Kenyan Mobile market share.

Currently, it is owned by shareholders, the Kenyan government, and Vodafone. Safaricom offers telecommunication services such as; fixed and mobile voice, Internet and data bundles, short message service (SMS), corporate solutions, and mobile money transfer services (m-pesa). Other services offered by Safaricom include music streaming services, cloud hosting, domains, and security services.

Brands that stand out in the portfolio of Safaricom include MPESA, Masoko, Fuliza, Mshwari, and DigiFarm.

Main Services offered by Safaricom Kenya:


Safaricom mobile network Kenya calls

Mobile Phone Calls

Need to make a phone call quickly and conveniently in Kenya? It could either be for personal reasons or for business. Then Safaricom has the mobile phone call service also known as voice.

With the steady decrease in the number of landlines, mobile phones have seen an increase in Kenya. The reason for this, mobile phones are highly portable and bring convenience.

The primary service that Safaricom offers is Mobile phone calls. As a mobile network, it has nearly monopolized the market, due to its good network coverage across the country and offering amazing deals.

Safaricom has over 60 per cent market reach in Kenya and over 35 million subscribers and controls over 60 per cent of the voice market share.

Safaricom has two significant types of phone call types, which are local and international. Local phone calls can be made within the country, while international calls are made outside the country.

The standard call rates for local calls go for as low as Kshs. 4.00 per minute. International call rates have different packages per minute depending on the consumer’s preference.

For local calls, some of their offers include the tunukiwa talk time offers and the double talk time to all networks.

For international calls offered by Safaricom, here are options mobile phone users can get:

  • 6 minutes @ Kshs 19 for 24hours.
  • 40 minutes @ Kshs 99 valid for seven days.
  • 170 minutes @ Kshs 399 valid for 30 days.

Note: International calling bundles are only available for few countries. This includes calls to the USA, China, Canada, and India.


safaricom mobile network Kenya SMS

SMS Messages

SMS (short message service) is a text message service segment of the mobile networks. The service lets users send and receive messages of up to 160 characters to and from GSM mobiles. It encompasses regulated communication protocols which allow mobile gadgets to share short text messages.

Safaricom has a well-structured messaging system. A user can choose between using a short message service (SMS) and the Multi-Media Messaging Service (MMS).

With SMS, Safaricom offers the service for messages sent off the network or on the network. The standard cost of sending a text message is Kshs 1 if no SMS bundle package is purchased. Usually, messaging off-network is more costly than on-network. The different types of SMS package include:

  • 20 SMS @ Kshs 5 valid for 24hrs.
  • 200 SMS @ Kshs 10 valid for 24hrs.
  • 1500 SMS @ Kshs 100 valid for 30 days.

In addition to that, Safaricom messaging platform provides room for either bulk or single contact messaging. Some companies use Safaricom messaging services as a direct marketing tool. These companies send targeted messages to Safaricom clients, which may or may not turn into direct conversions.


Safaricom short messaging system (SMS) has a maximum of 160 characters per short message, whereas the multimedia messaging service has a 1600-character limit. Additionally, through multimedia messaging, one can send a text message accompanied by a multimedia product such as a photo, video, and Graphic Interface Format (GIFs).

The Safaricom line also supports archiving of messages. The messaging service is affordable and its affordability relies on the length and size of messages.

Line users can also seek customer support through messaging platforms other than the call helplines.

Internet: Data, Bundles and fixed fiber internet


Safaricom mobile network Kenya internet

Access to the internet has become very important in this day and age and Safaricom has taken note of this and offered products to match. The services that enable them to provide internet are wireless i.e 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G or cabled, through Safaricom fibre.

Safaricom offers different ways to access the internet either through the purchase of data bundles or using fixed internet solutions. Data bundles can be offered for compatible mobile phones, smartphones, or Wi-Fi routers. Fixed internet solutions are offered through fibre networks for home solutions, small businesses, and corporate.

Safaricom is the first telecom company in the country to have 3G internet connectivity and the recent success of 4G/LTE technology in all significant places in Kenya.

The cost of Safaricom data is affordable to everyone from as little as Kshs 5, depending on the user’s needs. The company also offers different types of data bundle packages. Safaricom data bundles are broadly categorized as either daily plan, weekly plan, or monthly plans. They also offer data bundles without expiry.

Safaricom Data Bundles Prices

  1. Daily plan
Resources Price Bonga Points Validity
7MB + 7SMS 5/= 7 24 hours
15MB + 15SMS 10/= 15 24 hours
50MB + 50SMS + WHATSAPP 20/= 50 24 hours
150MB + 150SMS + WHATSAPP 50/= 150 24 hours
500MB + 500SMS + WHATSAPP 99/= 500 24 hours

  1. Weekly plan
Resources Price Bonga Points Validity
100MB 50/= 100 Seven days
350MB + WHATSAPP 99/= 350 7 days
1GB + WHATSAPP 250/= 1000 7 days
3GB + WHATSAPP 500/= 3500 7 days

  1. Monthly Bundles
Resources Price Bonga Points Validity
350MB 250/= 350 30 days
2GB + WHATSAPP 500/= 2000 30 days
5GB + WHATSAPP 1000/= 5000 30 days
15GB + WHATSAPP 2000/= 15000 30 days
25GB + WHATSAPP 3000/= 25000 30 days

    1. Blaze Bundles

      Resources Price Bonga Points Validity
      Blaze Daily Bundle 25MB + 25SMS 10/= 25 24 hours
      70MB + 70SMS + WHATSAPP 20/= 70 24 hours
      200MB + 200 SMS + WHATSAPP 50/= 200 24 hours
      1GB +200SMS+ WHATSAPP 100/= 1000 24 hours
      Power Hour Power Hour 250MB 19/= 250 1 hour
      Blaze Weekly Bundle 350 MB + WHATSAPP 99/= 350 7 days
      1GB+ WHATSAPP 250/= 1000 7 days
      4GB+ WHATSAPP 500/= 4000 7 days
      Blaze Monthly Bundle 3GB + WHATSAPP 500/= 3000 30 days
      7.5GB+ WHATSAPP 1000/= 7500 30 days
      20GB + WHATSAPP 2000/= 2000 30 days


  1. Home Fibre Packages
Package Speed Price Duration
Bronze 8 MBPS Kshs 2900 30 days
Silver 20MBPS Kshs 3999 30 days
Gold 40MBPS Kshs 5999 30 days
Diamond 100MBPS Kshs 11999 30 days

In a recent report by ookla speed test, Safaricom registered a speed score of 29.80 as well as the top mobile Consistency Score of 86.3%. Also, the mobile network has the highest 4G availability across the country at 88.1%. Additionally, the mobile network operator has invested in a wide range of networks; second-generation (2G) network, third-generation (3G) network, fourth-generation (4G) network, and lately the fifth-generation (5G) network.

Mpesa: Mobile Money Transfer


Safaricom mobile network Kenya mobile money mpesa

Mobile money transfer has grown in Kenya in the last 10 years and Safaricom is at the forefront with its service, M-pesa.

M-Pesa is a mobile phone-operated money transfer service, micro-financing, and payment service, started in 2007 by Vodafone Group plc and Safaricom, the country’s dominant network provider.

M-Pesa allows users to withdraw, deposit, transfer money, purchase airtime, access credit, and savings, pay for goods and services (Lipa na M-Pesa) all on your mobile phone. You can do this by using the USSD SIM TOOL Kit option, using the mySafaricom app, or using the dedicated M-pesa app.

To access M-Pesa services, one has to register the line with Safaricom and activate MPESA services. Through MPESA, one can send, receive and withdraw money.

Safaricom has also partnered with Kenyan banks to offer comprehensive banking services like loans, insurance, and interest-bearing accounts. All this is available in m-pesa through mshwari and KCB M-pesa.

Safaricom’s mpesa mobile money solution is available in the following countries:

  • Mozambique
  • Tanzania
  • Lesotho
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • South Africa
  • Afghanistan.

However, operations in Romania, India, and Albania have been discontinued due to poor market uptake.


Cost of Transaction

Transacting with M-Pesa largely depends on the amount of money being transacted and whether the cash receiver is a client of Safaricom or on another mobile network.

Mpesa transaction costs cover withdrawal from M-pesa agent, transferring money to unregistered users, transfer to registered mpesa users, Pochi la Biashara, business Till, ATM withdrawal, and other transactions.

Withdrawal charges also apply range from Kshs 10, charged for withdrawals of Kshs 50-100 and up to Kshs 330 for withdrawals of Kshs 50,001-70,000.

Money can also be transferred from Safaricom to other network providers like Airtel, Telkom, and Equitel.

The table below shows the transaction costs for mpesa:

Withdrawal from M-pesa Agent

Min (Kshs.) Max (Kshs.) M-pesa Charges
1 49 N/A
50 100 10
101 500 27
501 1,000 28
1001 1,500 28
1501 2,500 28
2501 3,500 50
3501 5,000 67
5001 7,500 84
7501 10,000 112
10,001 15,000 162
15,001 20,000 180
20,001 35,000 191
35,001 50,000 270
50,001 150,000 300

Transfer to Unregistered Users

Min (Kshs.) Max (Kshs.) M-pesa Charges
1 49 N/A
50 100 N/A
101 500 45
501 1,000 49
1001 1,500 59
1501 2,500 74
2501 3,500 112
3501 5,000 135
5001 7,500 166
7501 10,000 205
10,001 15,000 265
15,001 20,000 288
20,001 35,000 309
35,001 50,000 N/A
50,001 150,000 N/A

Transfer to other M-Pesa Users, Pochi La Biashara and Business Till to Customers

Min (Kshs.) Max (Kshs.) M-pesa Charges
1 49 FREE
50 100 FREE
101 500 6
501 1,000 12
1001 1,500 22
1501 2,500 32
2501 3,500 51
3501 5,000 55
5001 7,500 75
7501 10,000 87
10,001 15,000 97
15,001 20,000 102
20,001 35,000 105
35,001 50,000 105
50,001 150,000 105

ATM Withdrawal

Min (Kshs.) Max (Kshs.) M-pesa Charges
200 2,500 34
2,501 5,000 67
5,001 10,000 112
10,001 20,000 197

Other Transactions

Other Transactions Kshs.
All Deposits FREE
M-PESA Registration FREE
Buying Airtime FREE
M-PESA balance Enquiry FREE

Mpesa Transaction Limit

Mpesa transaction limit for mpesa registered users is 300,000 Ksh while the transaction to a non-registered user is Kshs 35000 with a charge of Kshs 275. The maximum amount you can send on mpesa in one transaction is Kshs 150,000.

Masoko: Ecommerce and Online Shopping



Safaricom mobile network Kenya ecommerce

With the growing pace of online shopping in Kenya, Safaricom launched an e-commerce platform known as Masoko.

The Safaricom group started Masoko, a Swahili word for “markets,” in November 2017 to give local traders an online platform to sell their merchandise to mobile phone and computer gadget users in Kenya.

Masoko has helped open up the e-commerce market in the country. On the Masoko platform, users can also purchase products using Safaricom’s Bonga points. The more the Bonga points, the better the product. Safaricom offers 24/7 customer support on the platform to assist in customer inquiries and order tracking.

In every purchase, Safaricom earns a commission. Delivery of goods services purchased on the masoko eCommerce platform is available. The cost of delivery is billed alongside the commodity cost.

Consumer electronics: mobile phones, routers, and laptops


Safaricom mobile network Kenya shops

Safaricom has, in recent times, innovated electronic devices that satisfy different consumer needs. Some consumer electronics are mobile phones, routers, laptops, M-kopa solar panels, television sets, radio, and mobile phone accessories. All these products can be accessed and retrieved from Safaricom dealers across the country.

This is in their quest to fill the untapped market in the country and ensuring consumer satisfaction.

The devices can be bought at Safaricom shops or accessed on credit. The recently introduced smartphones can be acquired by the registered users who meet the criteria for lipa mdogo mdogo. This service allows users to pay as little as Kshs 20 for smartphones. Some devices can also be acquired by redeeming Bonga points earned by topping up airtime overtime.

The M-kopa service, on the other hand, targets the marginalized areas that hardly receive electricity. With a manageable deposit of as low as Kshs 3000, one can acquire an M-kopa package that comes along with a solar panel, bulbs, and even television. The company has developed a payment scheme for different m-kopa packages that are pocket-friendly.

Bonga Points


Safaricom mobile network Kenya bonga points

Safaricom Bonga points is a loyalty scheme system offered to all its mobile subscribers both on Prepay and post-pay. Mobile phone users on the network earn one Bonga point for every Kshs. 10 spent on the Safaricom network.

To sign up for Bonga points, you dial *126# and you start earning points immediately.


airtel mobile network Kenya calls sms internet mobile money ecommerce shops

Airtel is one of the mobile network operators that are registered to operate in Kenya. They do this by offering a variety of telecommunication services, such as mobile calls, SMS, mobile internet bundles, and mobile money.

It is an Indian multinational telecom service provider with its headquarters in New Delhi, Delhi, NCT, India. It has operations in 18 countries across Africa and South Asia. Airtel network offers 2G, 4G LTE, 4G+ mobile connectivity, voice services, and fixed-line broadband.

Airtel is the second-largest telecom service provider in Kenya after Safaricom PLC, with an estimated 16.2 million subscribers of the total 59.8 million subscribers in Kenyan markets. That makes the mobile network serve up to 27.2% market share in the country.

Initially, Airtel Kenya was in operation as Kencell, Celtel, and zain, which later rebranded to Airtel in November 2010.

Airtel Kenya offers mobile phone calls, SMS services, money transfers, browsing, and even selling electronics.

Mobile Phone Calls

Airtel mobile network Kenya calls

Airtel provides mobile phone call services to its clients across the country at a cheaper cost than its competitor, Safaricom PLC. The reason for offering such affordable prices is because of the heavy competition in the mobile network market in Kenya.

Airtel Kenya provides both local and international mobile phone calls. The standard local call rate is Kshs 2 per minute across all networks. However, with other better services like Tubonge, which gives its users 100 minutes of talk time at Kshs 10, airtel Kenya has seen its subscribers grow massively.

In addition, the mobile network offers a variety of international call bundles to their subscribers. This allows them to make calls to friends, business partners, and family abroad at affordable rates. To subscribe to Airtel International Call Bundles, one has to dial *146#.

SMS: Airtel Messaging Services

airtel mobile network Kenya sms

SMS stands for short message service. It is a service that Airtel offers on its networks that enables customers to send messages from phone to phone via their GSM network. This service lets users send and receive messages of up to 160 characters to and from GSM mobile phones.

When not subscribed to any SMS packages, airtel charges Kshs 1 per SMS. However, there are better deals than this telecom service provider gives its users. The SMS packages include:

Sms Bundle No. of SMS Price (Kshs.)
Daily 250 250 10/-
Daily 500 500 20/-
Weekly 500 500 30/-
Monthly 1500 1500 75/-

Airtel messaging system has a maximum of 160 characters per short message, whereas the multimedia messaging service 1600-character limit just like their counterparts Safaricom PLC.

In addition, through multimedia messaging, one can send a text message accompanied by a multimedia product such as a photo, video, and Graphic Interface Format (GIFs).

Airtel Kenya internet: Internet Bundles and fiber


Airtel mobile network Kenya internet

Airtel Kenya is the second largest telecom company in Kenya; it provides fast and reliable internet connectivity in areas with its network coverage.

With the recent boom of social media applications e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, IG, Snapchat, Kenya has seen a rapid uptake of smartphones gives them a direct path to accessing the internet. This has increased the demand for data usage. Airtel as a mobile network has, in turn, positioned itself as the smartphone network.

However, Airtel is yet to explore marginalized locales around the country.

Additionally, airtel boasts cheaper data packages across the country, which has also seen its users increase gradually as they improved their network coverage. The mobile network offers packages that range from 24 hours validity period to 90 days validity period depending on the user’s needs. The table below shows different data bundles packages.

Daily Data Bundles (24Hrs Validity)

Bundles Price (Ksh) Validity Period
70MB 10 24hrs
200MB + FREE WhatsApp 20 24hrs
600MB + FREE WhatsApp 50 24hrs
2GB + FREE WhatsApp 99 24hrs

7 Day Data Bundles

Bundles Price (Ksh) Validity Period
350MB 50 7 Days
750MB + FREE WhatsApp 100 7 Days
3GB + FREE WhatsApp 250 7 Days
6.5GB + FREE WhatsApp 500 7 Days

30 Day Data Bundles

Bundles Price (Ksh) Validity Period
3GB + FREE WhatsApp 300 30 Days
5GB + FREE WhatsApp 500 30 Days
12GB + FREE WhatsApp 1000 30 Days
20GB + FREE WhatsApp 1500 30 Days
30GB + FREE WhatsApp 2000 30 Days
50GB + FREE WhatsApp 3000 30 Days

90 Days Data Bundles

Bundles Price (Ksh) Validity Period
25GB 3000 90 Days
55GB 6000 90 Days
90GB 9000 90 Days

Subscribers of airtel can access the internet either through their data-enabled smartphones, routers such us airtel smart home and Airtel 4G mi-fi. Not only that, but airtel also offers fiber internet to the home in select areas in Kenya.

Mobile Money transfer through airtel money

Airtel mobile network Kenya mobile money

Airtel also has a money transfer service like Safaricom’s M-Pesa called Airtel money. With this money transfer service by Airtel, it is effortless to register. All you need is an airtel sim card, a passport, or a national identification card.

With airtel money, one can perform several tasks: sending money to any network in Kenya, purchasing airtime, ‘lipa na airtel’ services, withdrawals of cash, bill payments, and mobile banking.

Airtel Money Charges

Below, find a breakdown of airtel money charges and the cost of transaction.

 Transaction Limit in Ksh
Transaction Type in Ksh
Minimum           Maximum                  Transfer to All Networks          Withdrawal from Airtel
Money Agent
10 49 FREE N/A
50 100 FREE 10
101 500 7 27
501 1,000 9 27
1,001 1,500 15 27
1,501 2,500 24 27
2,501 3,501 33 49
3,501 5,000 36 66
5,001 7,501 45 82
7,501 10,000 51 110
10,001 15,000 57 159
15,001 20,000 60 176
20,001 25,000 66 187
25,001 30,000 66 187
30,001 35,000 66 187
35,001 40,000 66 275
40,001 45,000 66 275
45,001 50,000 66 275
50,001 70,000 66 275


telkom-mobile-network Kenya calls sms internet mobile money ecommerce shops points

Telkom is one of the mobile network operators that are registered to operate in Kenya. They do this by offering a variety of telecommunication services, such as mobile call, SMS, mobile internet bundles, and mobile money.

Initially, it was one of the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC), the major telecommunication and postal services provider. The company was established in 1999 as a telecommunication provider after KPTC split into the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), The Postal Corporation of Kenya (Posta), and Telkom Kenya.

Currently, Helios investments Partners own most shares in the company, of 60%, while Kenyans hold the remaining stake via the Kenyan government.

Telkom gives mobile connectivity and services to individual people, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large corporations in the country, and the government.

The mobile company in Kenya draws from a comprehensive solutions suite encompassing data, voice, mobile money, and network services.

Telkom voice and call services

Telkom mobile network Kenya calls

Telkom Kenya offers different voice packages to its customers to make calls on its network and other networks i.e. on-net and off-net.

In 2018, Telkom Kenya launched the lowest voice bundle across all networks. This came as a sigh of relief to its users as they can make calls for as low as Kshs 1.50 cents per minute. The packages, grouped into four tiers, will have the users pay Kes 19 for a daily bundle and Kshs 199 for a 30-day bundle.

Some of the voice offers include:

Any Network Bundles Price (Ksh) Validity
10 minutes any network 19 (Ksh 1.9, per minute) 24 Hours
30 minute any network 49 (Ksh 1.6, per minute) 30 Days
66 minutes any network 99 (Ksh 1.5, per minute) 30 Days


Telkom Kenya Mobile phone internet and data bundles


Telkom mobile network Kenya internet

Telkom Kenya is widely known for its data and internet offers across the country. It targets both levels of consumer levels, from bottom to top. With high speeds and good connectivity, Telkom mobile internet has stood out in the Kenyan market share.

The following are some data bundles and internet packages available on Telkom Kenya

Daily 70 MB 1 day of validity KShs 10
Daily 200MB 1 days of validity KSh 20
Daily 700MB 1 day of validity KSh 50
Daily 700MB + 700MB Night Bundle 1 day of validity Kshs 60
Daily 2GB + 2GB night Bundle 1 day of validity KSh 100
#Staywoke 5GB Bundles (12AM – 6AM) KSh 50
Weekly 350 MB 7 days of validity KSh 49
Weekly 750 MB 7 days of validity KSh 99
Weekly 2.5 GB 7 days of validity KSh 249
Monthly 2GB 30 days of validity KSh 249
Monthly 5GB 30 days of validity KSh 499
Monthly 12GB 30 days of validity KSh 999
Monthly 30GB 30 days of validity KSh 1999
Monthly 50GB 30 days of validity KSh 2999

Telkom Money (T-kash)



This is a mobile money transfer service similar to mpesa offered by Safaricom. T-kash enables Telkom Kenya subscribers to send, receive money and also pay for different utilities.

T-Kash is a Telkom Kenya money transfer service that allows the user to do the following:

  • Pay utility bills
  • Sending and receiving the money to and from all networks in Kenya
  • Withdraw, deposit, and keep a record of your money
  • Buy airtime for you and others.
  • Buy Telkom data bundles directly without having to buy airtime
  • Shopping at known outlets
  • Easy access to most used biller numbers like KPLC, StarTimes NHIF, DSTV, etc. from your menu

To register a T-Kash account, one needs to have a Kenyan National ID, valid passport, Alien passport, and Telkom mobile number.

The maximum value per transaction on T-Kash is Kshs 150,000, and the maximum wallet limit is Kshs 300,000, maximum Daily total transaction value is Kshs 300,000. The table below shows the transaction rates of T-kash.

Transaction charges for T-Kash are found below according to the Tariff of March 2021.

Minimum Maximum Send Money to Registered User (T-Kash & other Networks) Send money to Unregistered User Customer Withdrawal at an agent
1 49 Free N/A N/A
50 100 Free N/A 10
101 500 5 36 26
501 1000 12 41 26
1001 1500 20 46 26
1501 2500 32 61 26
2501 3500 45 93 48
3501 5000 55 120 65
5001 7500 65 145 80
7501 10000 85 190 105
10001 15000 90 245 155
15001 20000 90 265 175
20001 35000 100 285 185
35001 50000 100 N/A 265
50001 150000 100 N/A 295


Equitel is one of the mobile network operators that are registered to operate in Kenya. They do this by offering a variety of telecommunication services, such as mobile call, SMS, mobile internet bundles, and mobile money.

Equitel is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Kenya. It is owned by the Equity Group Holdings while using the Airtel Kenya network as its carrier. Equitel differs from the other three major mobile networks in that it uses already setup mobile operator infrastructure. The chosen partner, as highlighted above is Airtel.

With Equitel, users can make telephone calls, send and receive money, buy airtime, get instant loans, bill payments, and so many other services.

Send money using Equitel

Sending money in Equitel is free and has lower transaction charges than Safaricom’s M-pesa. This can be attributed to the fact that mobile banking has increasingly become competitive.

Equitel also has zero charges when checking for account balance, contrary to m-pesa, which charges its users every time they check their balance. Transferring money to an Equitel account is also free of charge. The transaction limit of Equitel stands at Kshs 1 million, with free transfers of up to Kshs 300,000 per transaction.

Below are the Equitel Kenya charges and transaction rates:



50-100 0 1.10 33.00 34.10
101-500 0 5.50 33.00 38.50
501-1000 0 11.00 33.00 44.00
1001-1500 0 16.50 33.00 49.50
1501-35000 0 27.50 33.00 60.50

Equitel Voice and Call Service

As a mobile network, Equitel offers its subscribers mobile to mobile phone calls. Need to make a phone call quickly and conveniently in Kenya? It could either be for personal reasons or for business. Then Equitel has the mobile phone call service also known as voice.

The mobile network offers both local and international phone services.

Compared to safaricom, which charges Kshs 25 per minute when it comes to international calls Equitel offers cheaper international calls. Equitel, on the other hand, charges Kshs 4 per minute for calls within East Africa.


SMS stands for short message service. It is a service that Equitel offers on its networks that enables customers to send messages from phone to phone via their network. This service lets users send and receive messages of up to 160 characters to and from mobile phones.

Sending SMS via Equitel will cost the user Kshs 1 to all networks.

Equitel Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) licensed Equitel to undertake operations as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in Kenya and has been approved by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to offer transaction services. MVNO is a distinct network operator with distinctive products and services but depends on another operator’s network.

Equitel Network Coverage

Due to its operation as an MVNO, the network quality and reach are equal to that of Airtel. It shares Airtel’s network strengths and lowlights. Airtel having a good network reach, gives Equitel Kenya nationwide coverage.

Equitel Data Bundles

Besides Equitel being known for its money transfer services, it also offers good mobile internet with reasonable speeds at very affordable rates, just like Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom companies. The daily internet package comes with an SMS bundles package, an offer exclusive to Equitel only.

Below is the table showing the data packages offered by equitel:

Data (MBs) SMS Price Validity Product Category Name
7 7 6 1 Day Daily Internet
10 10 7 1 Day Daily Internet
25 25 17 1 Day Daily Internet
40 40 28 1 Day Daily Internet
70 70 38 1 Day Daily Internet
120 120 44 1 Day Daily Internet
5 5 7 Days Weekly Internet
15 15 7 Days Weekly Internet
20 20 7 Days Weekly Internet
50 40 7 Days Weekly Internet
100 80 7 Days Weekly Internet
250 219 30 Days Monthly Internet
800 439 30 Days Monthly Internet
2048 999 30 Days Monthly Internet
5120 1599 30 Days Monthly Internet
8192 2000 30 Days Monthly Internet
5 6 7 Days 5MB
20 24 7 Days 20MB
50 60 90 Days 50MB
100 110 90 Days 100MB
500 500 120 Days 500MB
1536 1000 180 Days 1.5GB
3072 1999 180 Days 3GB
8192 3999 180 Days 8GB
20480 7999 180 Days 20GB



Mobile networks in Kenya have really made the mobile space competitive and added value to consumers. The reason for this is because coverage has increased, they offer additional services and the technology has improved. With the improvement, we have seen 3G, 4G and 5G coverage increase in the country making phone calls clearer and internet speeds faster. In addition, mobile networks offer services such as mobile money, e-commerce, banking and loyalty programs. These mobile networks; Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom Kenya and Equitel, have substantially improved the quality of life for Kenyans.

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