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January 16, 2019

Safaricom slashes data prices, says keen on narrowing internet access gap

The new data prices released by Safaricom on Friday, September 14, 2018. /COURTESY
The new data prices released by Safaricom on Friday, September 14, 2018. /COURTESY

A notice by telecommunications firm Safaricom announcing cuts in prices of data bundles lit up the internet atmosphere on Friday.

In the reviewed prices, the daily bundle option will see subscribers purchase from as little as 50MB at Sh20 to 500MB at Sh99.

The same comes with a text message package of between Sh50 and Sh500.

Weekly bundle offering will be between Sh99 for 350MB and Sh500 for 2GB internet bundles while the monthly offer gives between 2 GB of internet at Sh500 and 15GB at Sh2,000.

The new deal brings free Whatsapp access on selected bundles after exhaustion of their data.

This will be valid up to the expiry of the last bundle purchased and will be in use until expiry of the period of purchase.

"This is just the beginning," Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said in a statement adding that the decision is to make data bundles affordable in the wake of increased internet penetration.

He said Safaricom has seized of the fact that more Kenyans go online for everything from business to studying to social networking.

"We see an opportunity to narrow the access gap by connecting even more people to the Internet, especially the youth," Collymore said.

During the telco's AGM two weeks ago, the CEO said the company was aware of frequent customer complaints that mobile data is depleted too fast.

He offered more transparent and user-friendly data experiences going forward.

"Safaricom exists to transform lives, and we hope that by leveraging the strength of our network and giving our customers what they want."

Latest Communications Authority of Kenya data indicates Safaricom’s share of the voice traffic dropped to 72.5 per cent in the quarter to December 2017, from 80.6 per cent in a similar period a year earlier.

This was a market drop of 8.1 per cent, while rival Airtel Kenya gained 22 per cent up from 13.5 per cent in a similar period the previous year.

The latter has a data bundle which gives its subscribers 2GB for Sh99 daily.

More on this: Safaricom bows to customer pressure, to cut data cost 'soon'

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