Saturday, August 25, 2007

Safaricom throws down the gauntlet

What a wonderful new service from Safaricom. If you have been hesitating getting your rural internet cafe set up, then you have no more excuses. Safaricom has launched a flat-fee (up to a point) internet connection product that is very affordable.

The service branded as Bambanet costs KShs. 1,999 (USD 30) per month and needs you to buy a USB modem for KShs. 5,999 (USD 90). For this you get to download 700 MB per month and for anything over that it will cost you K.Shs. 10 (USD 0.16) per MB.

I can positively confirm that this offer is by far the best internet product in Kenya at the moment:

1. It's relatively very cheap.
2. It's easy and cheap to setup
3. It's available almost everywhere in Kenya.

Way to go Safaricom, let's see if your competition down on Mombasa Road takes up the cue.


Harry Karanja said...

...and Celtel has picked it up.

Celtel has a similar product to Bambanet called Uhurunet.

I haven't had a chance to use it but I can confirm that:

1. Fixed monthly fee of KES 2,995 (~USD45) for post paid users

2. Pre-paid option available.

I've used Celtel EDGE before for my rural internet cafes, and it was generally faster than Safaricom so it's worth checking out.

Pete R Njenga said...

startupkenya has it right.
Celtel's unlimited Uhuru Net is much faster and very affordable compared to Safcon's Bambanet, which has a 700 MB monthly limit. Additional charges for Celtel are cheaper: prepaid Ksh 10 while Safcon's is Ksh 12.60 per MB.
Problem with Celtel is poor marketing. I only learnt of the Uhuru Net plan when I saw it with my sister. Their never updated and usually down website never has current information.
I use the Celtel internet connection about 40 km from Nairobi and there are no connection hitches. Their connection is always better than Safaricom's, be it voice or data.
All they need to do is overhauil their marketing strategy.

Anonymous said...

celtel's marketing is not poor, it is atrocious. i wanted info about their internet and there was none on their site. so i sent them an email. a month down the line and nobody had responded. so i go to their shop on koinange street and the lady there was most unhelpful. and she talked as if she had better customers to attend to.

so i went and subscribed to bambanet though if i had known about the celtel one i would have opted for it.

by the time i learnt about celtel i was already bound to the safcon's expensive one for one year.

Anonymous said...

i joined safaricom internet through my phone - samsung sgh. its too expensive. inakula pesa sana.

Harry Karanja said...

After two years of using the GPRS services from the Safaricom and Zain formerly Celtel) I think I can make a decision on who is the better option...

Surprise, surprise. It's not Safaricom, and my reasons are:

1. Although Safaricom has the cheapest entry plan (KSh. 999) for prepaid, it is ultimately more expensive for anyone but the most languid surfers. Zain with their fixed 2,995 post paid option is the best value for money (I download entire movies using my Zain connection.

2. Safaricom does have the better network (3G compared to Zain's EDGE) but it is so inconsistent compared to Zain's. Although to be fair I have noticed a drop in Zain's reliability as well over the past year (perhaps they are also getting too many users)

3. If using the post paid plans, Safaricom will continue to charge you per calendar month whether or not the service is connected. Zain charges pro rata, and only when the subscription is active.

Kudos Zain.

Anonymous said...

safaricom is as good as dead lion ask me why,they only know hyow to advertise themselves but they never care about their servicesgo to Gatundu thre is no twork coveragenetwork coverage when you go to uganda they are charging double and even their services like mpesa is not working and their advert we dpo across boarders and our net wok is every where safaricom md think twice silly

Harry Karanja said...

Again I must stress how superior a product and a company Zain (formerly Celtel) has proved in GPRS services compared to Safaricom.

The thing I mentioned about them
charging you even when you are not connected is the greatest scam ever.

Anonymous said...

Thanx 4 the comments guys i now which option to go for -Zain uhurunet.I hav been trying to find out 4 months on which option to go for

Anonymous said...

Hey you all,

Found some issuez and experiences guys have had with bambanet and orange and stuff. Check them out at under the tags of safaricom, internet, zain, orange, etc.

See yah!

Anonymous said...

use your modem with ANY SIMCARD!