from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – THE launch of a low-cost fourth-generation networks (4G) smartphone package in Kenya is anticipated to enable locals to access life-changing opportunities during the coronavirus crisis in East Africa’s biggest economy.
Mobile operator, Safaricom, announced plans to launch the KSh20 (US$0,19) a day package, also aimed at empowering customers currently on 2G devices to upgrade and enjoy high speed internet connectivity.
The package, in partnership with Google, is based on insights from a campaign that saw over 1 million customers acquiring 4G-enabled devices.
The new campaign seeks to empower an extra 1 million customers to upgrade to 4G-enabled devices this financial year.
“Smartphone device is critical in supporting the new realities brought about by COVID-19,” said Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa.
Kenya has 384 confirmed cases and 15 deaths from the virus.
“This proposition aims to support Kenyans during and beyond this pandemic by enabling them access more opportunities, be it learning, working or running businesses from the comfort of their homes,” Ndegwa said.
More details on the package are to be released by the end of this quarter.
Mariam Abdullahi, Director, Android and Platforms Partnerships for Africa, said access to opportunities the internet offered was critical for economic growth and social inclusion.
A majority of Kenyans, and Africans at large, access the internet via mobile broadband.
In Kenya, approximately 60 percent of the mobile phone install base is still on 2G feature phones and 40 percent smartphones with key barriers to people coming online being device and data affordability.
“We believe that this collaboration with Safaricom will bring more Kenyans access and the means to partake in the opportunities that exist online,”Abdullahi said.
– CAJ News