In an earlier post on this blog a couple of months ago, I had expressed my dissatisfaction that all the mobile operators in Kenya seemed to be launching “me too” Internet services in the marketplace which had almost identical features and lacked creativity that was market-driven. Therefore, it came as a pleasant surprise this past week when Zain Kenya launched some new and highly flexible unlimited and limited usage Internet bundles that buck this trend.
If this is a precursor to some of the changes we can expect when Bharti Airtel’s US$ 10.7 Billion acquisition of Zain Africa takes full effect then we are already seeing some creativity that could tip market share balances as they stand today. To note though is that Zain Kenya still does not have a 3G service in place and therefore they only offer speeds within GPRS and EDGE (collectively known as 2.5G).
The reason why Zain Kenya, Orange Kenya and YU mobile networks do NOT yet have 3G unlike Safaricom is that none of them are willing pay the exhorbitant US$ 25 Million that is required to secure a 3G license from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK). This has become a major bone of contention in the rapid proliferation of broadband Internet connectivity throughout Kenya as CCK has so far refused to lower it since Safaricom made the payment a few year ago – only time will tell how this pans out.
Below are the new Zain Kenya internet bundle rates as published in Kenyan media:
Unlimited Prepaid Internet Bundles.
- Unlimited 1 day @ Kes. 250.00
- Unlimited 10 days @ Kes. 1,250.00
- Unlimited 20 days @ Kes. 2,250.00
- Unlimited 30 days @ 3,250.00
Prepaid Internet Bundles.
- 25 MB @ Kes. 100.00
- 70 MB @ Kes. 250.00
- 150 MB @ Kes. 500.00
- 500 MB @ Kes. 1,250.00
- 1 GB @ Kes. 1,750
In addition to the above bundle rates, the pay as you go Internet usage rate is Kes. 7.00 per megabyte. Finally, the modem cost is still Kes. 2,010.00 as announced late last year and comes with 150 MB of data free usage.