Safaricom yesterday responded to the broadband price reduction call by introducing a unlimited internet offer promotion which looks like a test promotion. The offer looks like a test because it only lasts upto 8th February from 26th January. Thats 14 days test which will make them know whether their network can handle that.

I find that something like a fumble. Safaricom should not be fumbling in the market now. It should be confident because its the big player here. Safaricom should have the most superior network and handle any amount of subscribers because otherwise we will tend to believe that they only make the great profits because they have inferior equipment and go for cheaper cost at the expense of quality.

And imagine Ksh 1000 = 7 days and so 30 days will be Ksh 4,300 and thats very high still. We want to see the costs go below Ksh 2,500 per month for unlimited connection.

The offer is also after I sent some management and asked them when we will ever see the true reduction in internet costs around. Safaricom, Zain and Orange is not doing any good service to Kenyans and its sad that after even the selling of Telkom Kenya against our wishes, the Kenyan government has still failed to push fordelivery from the same. Which country sells its communication hub? Which country? Even Tanzanians and Ugandans refused to let theirs go.

I think that it will be very good for Dr Bitange Ndemo to push for reduction of costs and also know that however many content conferences they organises. non wil come when the costs are high. And he promised a blog post on this. We are waiting Bwana PS.

  • iamsurerogers

    I agree with you on that price issue and the selling of a state owned telecommunication corporation and as a matter of fact Orange should have been very far if not at par with safaricom given the amount of resources they had at start,but it's a shame the M.D is still singing the same song He was singing in '09 of spending Kshs. 3 + Billions to improve their services.ain't we tired of heavens that never seem to materialize?

  • Mike Msandeyo

    I think that Kenyans like being exploited and the fact that we have allowed these CEOs to do the same speaks volume

  • Mike, I think that Kenyans should be more involved in the push for the reduction. Its so sad that we have to go through this while we have those who should be representing the interest of consumers

  • Jonas

    I think this is a bit too hard on Safaricom. 4,300 would be very cheap for an unlimited connection at (hopefully) > 1Mbps.

    Providing mobile Internet is a lot more expensive than wired in terms of equipment and licenses. Even in Europe almost all unlimited deals on 3G have been taken away with a cap on 1GB/10GB/20GB instead depending on provider and country. It is just not working economically with some ppl using >50GB a month.

    What is strange in Kenya is that the unlimited deals on wired Internet are still so expensive (and extremely slow). Access Kenya offering Elite package (the only one I would call broadband – 32kbps is less than dial up speed …) @ 9,000 + VAT (strange to offer private persons prices VAT excl. as well) is ridiculously expensive.

    Orange doing ADSL is somewhat better but if I am not wrong they have a download cap on their ADSL service after 5GB! Copper wires being stolen once a month and replacement taking sometimes weeks (no refunds) is also a pain. Why don't they just put the wires in the ground !?

    Don't go too hard on Safaricom. At least they are trying.

  • anderscomstedt

    Good to see that there is at least movements towards reasonable offers of mobile Internet. However, most mobile networks are not at all built to cope with heavy or even moderate loading of all the Internet use we now can expect. This is a global and not particularly Kenyan problem. As there is no substantial countrywide wireline access network in Kenya (how many had ever a landline phone?) the vast bulk of the users will end up on 3G. With even more web services being video centric tomorrow a couple of GB per month will soon just look silly as a cap. Cisco and others expect 90-95 percent of the global traffic to be video in just months, not many years. That means total volumes going up maybe ten times in the backbones. Of cause this puts a strain on any operator. How fast, and not least in a controlled way, can they transform? Maximum caps per months are, however, a too blunt, even if simple, way of dealing with this. What happens if all users like to download a good part of their cap of 1-5 GB in the afternoon/evenings the first 3-4 days every month? Since upstream traffic, international transit, for the operators in Kenya now is less of a cost, there should at least be a a restriction of the cap to daytime and early evening only. Congesting the network at night by moderate downloaders is less of a society and operator problem. Heavy use will need something different than 3G anyway.
    All mobile operators, globally, seems to be toying with prices and caps in the same order of magnitude as qouted in the article, since none has a capable network initially. The Safaricom numbers are just 2-3 times higher in price than what to expect in a competitive market. Typical of an early offer from the market leader. OK for the first month or so. Competitive, or regulatory pressure, will need to slash the price and above all raise the cap during 2010 or else the dynamics in the market will taper off. Then you have a good reason to ask what policy makers and the regulator is doing.
    Who is first to offer 10GB cap, daytime, for KSH 2000 during 2010? That is the first benchmark. Then 5GB for KSH 1000 to widen the user base.

  • McTim

    Uganda Telecom is now majority owned by Libya

  • propaganda

    This is the second time Safaricom is doing this, and once again it is turning out to be rubbish. The 'unlimited' is not unlimited. I started using this on Wednesday at 10am and had decent downloads (slower than the usual Safaricom 3G at Sh3 per MB). After three days and about 6GB (he he he) the service has basically shut down. It's like 2kbps! I'll be switching back to my Orange EVDO. It is slower than Safaricom on a good day but at Sh0.975 per MB it is cheaper. Anyone know of a better option? I've held off trying things like Zuku and Access at home 'broadband' because I don't want to pay for expensive equipment/installation costs then find out the 256k unguaranteed broadband means rubbish actual speeds like 32k.

  • Anders I agree with you. I am thinking of your point and just think, what if all the operators are pushed to go the unlimited way. Do you think that we might experience a big strain? Zain has been doing so on pre-paid and post paid and they are still limping along. And since the Safaricom offer, we have seen a relief on Zain network which is great. What do you think?

  • james

    i have the unfortunate opportunity to subscribe to the safaricom offer and i am dissapointed to say that its speeds are just toooo mediocre, downloading takes hours i am a very disappointed customer

  • Ndiaga

    Sure, downloading heavy content takes upto two days quite ridiculous!! Which in UK can take Atmost 30minutes

  • janfrieling

    where do I get 1 mb unlimited broadband in Nairobi

  • Jonas

    Safaricom in theory but they have heavy caps at their limited offer so don't expect more than 256kpbs. Still the cheapest alternative for an unlimited connection in Kenya if they will continue the offer.

    Otherwise you have to go with a wired solution somehow
    – Orange (requires a landline and those cables are unreliable and often stolen, no refunds or service level agreement or anything but if the landline cable is working it usually works)
    – AccessKenya (1Mbps evenings and weekends only) – a very expensive alternative … yes the last transport is not wired but I still consider it wired as it is not on the cellular network. High installation costs as well.
    – Zuku (requires cable TV connection)
    – KDN – they have a new offer but only available at a very limited number of places.

    Basically the Internet alternatives you have are dependent on where you live.