Strategies adopted by mobile phone companies in Kenya to cope with the challenge of mobile number portability
This study sought to find out the strategies that mobile phone companies in Kenya are using to counter the challenges brought about by Mobile Number Portability. Mobile Number Portability is a new phenomenon in Kenya, who is among the few countries in Africa that have embraced this mobile technology. With this technology mobile phone subscribers maintain their number regardless of the network they are using. To the subscriber it carries many benefits where as to the service provider it is a great source of competition. The study has looked at the strategies that all the four companies in Kenya , are adopting to ensure gain or maintain of the subscriber market share. The studied companies are Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Yu. The study found that rivalry influence by buyers, strong business influence by suppliers, operating costs, and advertising are the challenges that all respondents were in agreement faced Mobile Number Portability. System failure was found to be a challenge to some companies and not to others. Making products unique from the rest, focusing on differentiation on a niche market, outsourcing, making unexpected or unpredictable moves, were the strategies used by majority of the respondents to deal with challenges of Mobile Number Portability. Training and empowering of employees was considered an important strategy in coping up with the challenges of mobile number portability. Presenting current products and services to new markets is a strategy that was moderately adopted by mobile companies. Though retrenchment of turnaround was indicated as a strategy in dealing with mobile number portability, it was found that the strategy was not used by all mobile service providers. The recommendation made included; an adoption of differentiation strategy through making products unique and work towards achievement of competitive advantages so as to increase their customer loyalty, adoption of best price strategy as a way of coping with competition while achieving profit making goals, Training of employees to increase their efficiency and competence in dealing with teething problems of mobile number portability. A further study to be carried on other factors affecting mobile number portability apart from the challenges and strategies covered in this study. A similar study covering beneficiaries ( Customers) of mobile number portability process to establish whether the challenges mentioned by service providers are similar challenges faced by the customers .