There’s a Swahili saying, ndovu wawili wakipigana, nyasi huumia…loosely translating to, when two elephants fight, it’s the grass that’ll hurt the most. That is definitely not the case in Kenya right now. Telecom companies in Kenya have in the past few months taken at each other in fierce price wars that have not been seen in recent times. Out of all this, the ordinary Kenyan seems to be on the benefiting end. Safaricom, Airtel Kenya, and Telkom Kenya are the three main players in the market, Safaricom being the biggest player. The three have in the past few months been reducing their rates in a bid to attract new customers, at least for Airtel and Telkom, and to retain existing customers.
Telkom Kenya has been openly taking jabs at Safaricom whose data prices remain unnecessarily high. Using #EveryBobCounts, Telkom has been pushing these ads on Twitter, on social media, Billboards, TV, everywhere.
The first of these offers have to be Airtel’s 1GB at Ksh.99. A few weeks later, Telkom introduced the exact same bundle under their Freedom Bundles. Later on, Telkom bundled free on-net calls and free SMS with the same bundles. Around the same time, Safaricom was running the Tunukiwa promotion, offering customers personalized deals. In a surprise move, Safaricom started offering Unlimited 4G internet at Ksh.100, valid for 3 hours. Geeks and heavy web users were excited about this as Safaricom is the only provider in the country with 4G+.
— Moseax ? ?? (@Moseax) June 12, 2018
As the buzz and fuss around Safaricom’s unlimited 4G died down, Safaricom introduced a 1GB @Ksh99 to match its competitors. Seeing this, Telkom and Airtel doubled their ration to 2GB @Ksh99 daily.
Explore, like, post, play videos and discover new places and cultures all with a click of a button with 2GB for only 99 bob daily! pic.twitter.com/ePfGewM9S9Advertisement - Continue reading below
— Airtel Kenya (@AIRTEL_KE) June 15, 2018
— Telkom Kenya (@TelkomKenya) June 12, 2018
I mean, I’m a heavy internet user, streaming HD YouTube videos and streaming Spotify for the whole day but there’s only so much you can do with 2GB for two or three days in a row. This is way too much for far too little. P.S; I’m not complaining. Don’t repeal these tariffs, I like being online and lacking what to do.
For Ksh.50, Safaricom offers users 150MB + 150 SMS. For the same amount, Airtel offers it’s users the now outdated Unliminet bundle; 50MB, 100SMS and 20 minutes of talk time. On Telkom, users get 500MB + Free on-net calls+ free WhatsApp. There’s simply no way of beating that.
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— Telkom Kenya (@TelkomKenya) May 8, 2018
Last week, Telkom went one up. For the nocturnal being among us, Telkom offers 5GB of data at just Ksh 39. There’s a catch though. You have to finish it all between midnight and 6 am. If that’s not being too generous, I don’t know what is.
Love to listen to podcasts on the go? You need a bundle that allow you to download a bunch of them hassle free; and what better bundle than our #StayWoke night bundle @39 bob valid from 12 a.m – 6 a.m. pic.twitter.com/zoqHsnHqDl
— Telkom Kenya (@TelkomKenya) June 16, 2018
Telkom is clearly out to make a killing by lowering their prices this low. The other telcos may not be able to bend this low for obvious reasons, Telkom can afford to because…well they have everything to gain.
As these guys continue to square it out, we, the users get to enjoy these low rates. How sustainable this whole thing remains to be seen. Until these plans get repealed, go on and Torrent those TV Shows and Movies using your mobile data, you can now afford it ?.
These are by no means the only data plans offered by these telcos. A more comprehensive list and aggregation of the plans and rates will come soon. Also, players like Jamii Telecom’s Faiba 4G have no doubt played a role in pushing these prices low. We haven’t gotten a chance to review their plans due to coverage issues and incompatibility. A review will be up as soon as we have the chance to take it for a spin.