There is nothing as bad as slow internet, the kind that makes you feel as if you want to pull out your hair. If you are a Safaricom subscriber living outside Nairobi, you have cause to celebrate as the telco launched on Friday an expanded 4G network which will now be available in 7 towns across the country. The 7 towns will have full 4G coverage and will include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru and Kisii bringing the total number of counties covered by the service to 30. Other than the 7 towns, the 30 counties do not have full 4G coverage.
As per their full year results that were announced in May, Safaricom experienced a 77% increase in data usage per customer with smartphone ownership more than doubling. This perhaps explains the drive to up more 4G base stations in a bid to boost data consumption. In any case the faster the internet, the longer the time one will spend browsing and the more the data that will be consumed.
To drive data uptake the telco has also implemented a 36% reduction in data pricing. Subscribers can now purchase a weekly 4G 200MB data bundle at only Kshs.99 while the monthly 4G data bundles will be priced at Kshs. 1,499 for a 5GB data bundle. Subscribers who will upgrade to 4G will be rewarded with a free 4GB bundle. In order to empower customers have control over their spending, Safaricom recently introduced My Data Manager that allows users to manage how their data is used. You can access it by dialing *544#.
Safaricom is currently on an ambitious rollout program to put up an additional 500 4G base stations before the end of the year. The expanded rollout will bring the firm’s 3G and 4G footprint to more than 4,600 sites, cementing Safaricom’s position as the leading provider of superfast internet in the region.