× Business BUSINESS MOTORING SHIPPING & LOGISTICS DR PESA FINANCIAL STANDARD Digital News Videos Health & Science Lifestyle Opinion Education Columnists Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Fact Check Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

For Sh20 daily, you can now own a smartphone

By Reuters | May 1st 2020

Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator Safaricom is partnering with Google to offer a million affordable smartphones, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The telco, which is partly owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone, is ramping up its data business to offset a decline in mobile calls, where it has seen a small revenue fall due to saturation.

“Data penetration is still not at the right level. Many people don’t have smartphones,” Chief Executive Peter Ndegwa told Reuters after an online investor briefing. Data is one of Safaricom’s fastest-growing revenue lines and it hopes that increased smartphone usage will boost it further.

Customers will pay as little as Sh20 a day for nine months, Ndegwa said, as Safaricom seeks to eventually convert about 4 million 2G and 3G-enabled phones to 4G.

“If you have an app, you can’t use it on a 2G phone,” he said, adding that Safaricom was also planning to fully cover the country with its 4G network by the end of this year, to further boost the data business.

Rapid growth in the data business during the second half lifted Safaricom’s annual earnings before interest and tax 13.3 per cent to Sh101.5 billion ($950 million). Revenue from mobile data, where Safaricom has been aggressively fighting for market share by offering internet bundles without expiry, rose 12.1 per cent to Sh40.7 billion.

Share this story
Tough measures to curb Covid-19 drive up cost of living
Draconian measures employed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic pushed up the cost of living in April.
Absa Bank net profit for 3 months up 24pc
The performance was mainly driven by growth in interest income, particularly in the small and medium enterprises.