Airtel-Warid Merger: Making sense or not?


Imagine the day you wake up only to hear that Apple and Microsoft merged to form AppleSoft! Well, I can only imagine the look on the faces of some people, but, the news of the Airtel-Warid merger came in shocking phases, first, the public was told that Airtel had bought Warid, thus only meaning there would be no more Pakalast and Megabonus! After sometime, the news that finally came out was that it was a merger, phew! Thank Goodness, so the famous Pakalast is still available and also Kika still exists, okay, does this merger make sense, well, lets see.

For starters, you can now call more people ( the number is approximately 7.2 million) using either the famous Pakalast or Kika but this is somehow questionable in terms of efficiency since the merger is still technically being put into place. One may need to redial in some cases for the merger to make sense.

Airtel Money and Warid Pesa are now functioning like a real family, sending and receiving money across these two is just smooth and efficient. With the introduction of the lower sending rates, the merger becomes a beneficial factor to consider especially to the business community in Uganda.

Messaging is almost becoming free! The new SMS rates for Airtel are UGX1 for every SMS, but, it is for those who join the SMS frenzy by dialing *180#, then following instructions (Airtel subscribers). For those who can’t get enough of texting, this package suites.

If there is any telecommunication company in the world today that does not offer internet services, then, that is not a telecommunications company. When it comes to internet, the Airtel Warid merger provides hands down the cheapest and most affordable internet in Uganda today. At only UGX500, one gets 50MB of data and for Warid subscribers, for UGX1000, one gets 100MB of data. This is a real game changer and most people have adopted this move.

No one should ever lie to you, everything in this world has a rather not fancy side. The merger has also led to some people naturally hating both companies due to the simple fact it has made their lives harder, for example, the girlfriends who constantly ask for airtime from their various boyfriends. Well, catching up time, your boyfriends have just found the perfect solution. It is now easier to send airtime and also easier to call across the two networks.

To get to the depth of this we have to start with one spouse then go to the other,

Now lets start with airtel, some of us who used to enjoy the enormous size of data bundles at a low rate hated the merger because the size of data bundles greatly reduced starting from the 60mb at 500/- bundle reduced to 50mb then 900mb at 5000/- reduced to 600mb which was later reduced to 500mb at 4000/-, I must say I realised after paying for the bundle and my day wasn’t the best when I got a message confirming i got 300mb less. The 300mb bundle was cut to 250mb at 2000/-. Then the whole internet system got issues in terms of speed, Airtel used to be fast but now, its worse but it had gone to its worst during the initial merging process.

When we cross over to the other side of the marriage, Warid had lots of price increments on its free calls, and the value of SMS bundles reduced as customers now get fewer messages than they used to. Plus the number of minutes given on free call packages reduced. This sparked off social media criticism and some went ahead to create Facebook pages de-campaigning the merger.

To sum up the ugly side of the merger, Internet services got poor on airtel and free calls on sms got more expensive literally. However since they call their merger a marriage, every marriage has its ups and downs.

Well, whether this merger makes sense or not, it is now a known fact that Airtel and Warid have merged in an attempt to provide better services and also outcompete other telecommunication companies in the country.

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