Why would Airtel Kenya reward inactive SIM holders with 16 hours of free talk time?!!!

Here’s an announcement from the country’s second largest mobile network operator in terms of subscriber numbers, Airtel Kenya, which will make those with un-used and idle Airtel SIM cards to dust them up and connect them to their devices, and asap!!!

According to a media release sent out today, Airtel Kenya has launched a new customer reward scheme which will offer up to 16 hours of free talk time to its inactive customers who reactivate their lines onto the Network while existing subscribers will enjoy offers off the My Airtel, My Offer (MAMO) service.

MAMO is a service on the Airtel network where prepaid customers can choose a range of unique and exciting offers that cater for their individual needs by simply dialing 141 from their Airtel handsets.

Amongst these offers is 50 per cent more airtime upon recharge with Airtel Money and double the value of data usage upon purchase of any Airtel data bundles of 50MB and above on its world-class  3.75G HSPA network with up to 21Mbps speeds.

Airtel Kenya managing director Mr. Shivan Bhargava said, “Airtel will provide its customers with access to affordable superior quality communication and service on our network. We shall continue unveiling more value adding propositions for our customers to enable them achieve even more.”

The move to reward inactive SIM holders looks like an attempt aimed to bring them back to the network though in the release, Airtel does not indicate how many inactive SIM cards are out there that have not yet been completely deactivated from the network.

The announcement also fails to inform potential targeted subscribers how long a SIM card can be off the network before being disconnected, a period that was previously anything between 3 to 6 months depending on the network and a subscriber’s tariff plan.

And how about if I decide to purchase about 10 Airtel SIM cards then exchange the SIM cards every month, making the others inactive (so as to benefit from the 16-hours of free talk time upon activation) while the alternate SIM’s active? How will Airtel Kenya guard against such abuse?