Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) on Friday launched an expanded 4G network which will be fully available in seven cities across Kenya: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru and Kisii.
To coincide with the launch, Safaricom offered free helicopter rides that enabled more than 300 customers experience its 4G network in the 7 cities.
This now means that Safaricom customers in each of those cities now have full 4G coverage, bringing the total number of counties covered by the service up to 30.
“As announced during our full year results in May, we have experienced a 77 percent increase in mobile data usage per customer, with overall smartphone ownership more than doubling,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director – Consumer Business, Safaricom.
Safaricom is currently on an ambitious rollout program to put up an additional 500 4G base stations before the end of the year. The expanded roll-out will bring the firm’s 3G and 4G footprint to more than 4,600 sites.
To drive mobile data uptake, Safaricom has implemented a 36% reduction in data pricing even as it continues its investment in building advanced 2G, 3G and 4G capability.
Some of the nifty new pricing reductions include Safaricom customers now being able to purchase a weekly 4G 200 MB data bundle at KES. 99 while monthly 4G data bundles at KES. 1,499 for a 5 GB data bundle.
Customers on 4G can do more with five times faster internet speeds that guarantee buffer-free, crystal-clear videos and music streaming, faster social media uploads and instant downloads.
To empower customers to have control over their spending, Safaricom recently introduced My Data Manager, which allows users to manage how their data is used. Customers can dial *544# to access My Data Manager.
The company also has a number of devices that are optimized for the 4G experience, including the Neon Turbo 7 and the Samsung Z2.
Subscribers upgrading to 4G will also be rewarded with a free 4 GB bundle for them to experience the technology and the speeds it delivers.
All Safaricom customers can check if they have a 4G enabled SIM card by dialing *544# and selecting “Safaricom 4G Bundles and SIM Check”. Safaricom will offer free SIM Swaps for customers switching to 4G SIM cards.
| The article contains excerpts from a Safaricom Press Release permitted for use on OYGK Magazine