Wrap-Up: Our pick of main stories, Monday February 2, 2015

February is finally here, and with the new month comes new stories in the world of technology. So for the first Monday this month, our main stories include: Orange introducing bundled post-paid plan for individual subscribers, Eastlands PSV saccos going the cashless route and UK firms targeting Kenya with high-tech security gadgets. Read on...

Eastlands PSV saccos to move to cash-lite fare system from today

PSV Saccos with 410 vehicles plying Nairobi’s Jogoo road route from Eastlands are today switching over to cash-lite fare system – My1963 – and will not be accepting cash as payment for fares from this evening.

The nine SACCOs – Royal Swift, Mwamba, Umoinner, Pin Point, Prime East, Compliant, C-Bet, ROG, and Oma – will from today through to Wednesday, be working with 50 route managers, based at all bus stations, who will be boarding each matatu to check that all passengers have receipts issued from the on-board 1963 terminals.

The nine SACCOs have alerted the police, informing Nairobi County Police Commandant Benson Kibue of the change over, in order to secure the support of the authorities in achieving a smooth transition.

140 ex-yuMobile staff report Monday for work at Safaricom

About 140 former yuMobile employees are set to start work at Safaricom on Monday, as part of the Sh11 billion joint buyout that also saw Airtel take over the exiting rival’s customers a fortnight ago.

Safaricom paid yuMobile Kshs 7.2 billion last year to acquire the Indian-owned telco’s assets, frequency spectrum, transmission towers and IT equipment as well as 150 employees. Airtel Kenya paid Kshs 4 billion to the global conglomerate Essar to acquire its customer base and use the brand name for at least two years.

The bulk (70) of the staff will be absorbed into Safaricom’s technical team which focuses on both network and hardware equipment.

M-Kopa Solar closes fourth funding round with US $12.45 million

M-KOPA Solar has announced that it has closed its fourth round of investment through a US $12.45 million equity and debt deal, led by LGT Venture Philanthropy.

The investment will be used to expand the company’s product range, grow its operating base in East Africa and license its technology to other markets.

Lead investor LGT Venture Philanthropy has backed M-KOPA since 2011 and is making its biggest investment yet in the fourth round, which also includes reinvestments from Lundin Foundation and Treehouse Investments (advised by Imprint Capital) and a new investment from Blue Haven Initiative.

Orange introduces bundled post-paid plan for individual subscribers

Orange has followed Safaricom and Airtel Kenya by introducing a post-paid plan for its Orange Mobile subscribers.

The Orange Ongea plan is a bundle offering, giving subscribers the option of Kshs 1,000 or Kshs 3,000 monthly bundles to access Orange Mobile voice, SMS and data services.

The Orange Ongea Plan 1,000 will require a subscriber to place a deposit of Kshs 2,000 upon registration, while the Orange Ongea Plan 3,000 will see the subscriber place a Kshs 6,000 deposit. On-net and off-net calls will be charged at Kshs 2 and Kshs 3 respectively, while on-net and off-net SMS will be charged at Kshs 0.5 and Kshs 1 respectively. Data per MB will cost Kshs 3 on the 1,000 Plan and Kshs2 on the 3,000 Plan.

Calls and SMS to international destinations are also included in the bundle. A customer will automatically be converted to the pre-paid offer once they exhaust their bundle and will be required to top-up to continue enjoying Orange Services.

Fidel Odinga the most searched trend on Google Kenya

Fidel Odinga, the late son of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, emerged as the top trending search on Google by Kenyans in January 2015.

Other highly sought after individuals on Google in January included: Njoki Chege (blogger), Raila Junior (Raila Odinga’s younger son) and Krystian Bielik (a seventeen year old Polish football midfielder who recently joined Arsenal).

UK firms target Kenya with high-tech security gadgets

UK firms are seeking a market for their gadgets in Nairobi as the country races to contain insecurity that has battered its tourism sector in the last 12 months.

The 17 firms include manufacturers of security equipment targeting deals at Kenya’s airports and the national borders.

Others are suppliers of satellite imaging, forensics, armoured vehicle usage and anti-improvised explosive devices (IED) services.

The British High Commission said the firms could strengthen the security apparatus and boost the fight against terror.

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