Safaricom yesterday had a pre-event of the 4G network relaunch in Nairobi and launch in six other counties, the launch which was officially flagged off today at Wilson Airport saw the company offer free helicopter rides to more than 300 customers to experience its 4G network in the 7 cities.
Safaricom aims to expand the 4G network to meet growing broadband demand for its customers in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru and Kisii which will bring 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. Our continuing initiatives to enhance the network experience will ensure that we continue to progress our vision to democratize data for all Kenyans,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director – Consumer Business, Safaricom.
The rollout program of 4G network will see Safaricom put up an additional 500 4G base stations before the end of the year. The expanded rollout 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 the most advanced 2G, 3G and 4G capability. Safaricom customers can now purchase a weekly 4G 200 MB data bundle at only KSh. 99 while monthly 4G data bundles will be priced as low as KSh. 1,499 for a 5 GB data bundle.
According to Julius Kundu, Internet and Propositions Manager at Safaricom, the 4G Network will help drive the mobile data uptake in Kenya as well as help Safaricom customers do more on the internet as the network guarantees five times faster internet speeds that are buffer-free and faster social media uploads and instant downloads.
Safaricom users can check if they have a 4G enabled SIM card by dialing *544# and selecting “Safaricom 4G Bundles and SIM Check” and first time subscribers will be rewarded with a free 4 GB bundle
With the recent introduction of My Data Manager- this allows users to manage how their data is used, Safaricom customers will be able to tell how their data is used.
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