Safaricom’s Uncapped WIMAX (SOHO) Internet Packages.
Safaricom has been given a lot of flak to-date for their speedy but pricey 3G bundles. As the only mobile network in Kenya (still) with 3G data, this is expected to be the case for at least another couple of months until such time both Zain Kenya (soon to become Airtel Kenya) and Orange Kenya get their 3G offerings to market.
Incidentally, Orange Kenya’s EVDO powered 3G+ Internet service is quite decent and their bundles give almost double the data for the the same price of what you would pay Safaricom for their 3G bundles – however, the big caveat is that its not always as fast (or as reliable) as experience has shown (at least in my case that is).
Anyway, back to the topic of this post. It recently came to my attention that Safaricom has been rolling out uncapped WIMAX Internet services in Nairobi. The services, based on pricing and bandwidth, are clearly aimed at both the Small Office Home Office (SOHO) and Residential markets. The roll-out, which is being done through third-party contractors also leverages Safaricom’s acquisition of several WIMAX companies over the last year or so.
The rates that I have for the Safaricom WIMAX Internet services are as follows:
- 512 Kbps (Internet only): Kes. 3,999.00 per month inclusive of taxes.
- 1Mbps (Internet, Domain Name and Web Site Hosting): Kes. 5,999.00 per month inclusive of taxes.
- 2Mbps (Internet, Domain Name and Web Site Hosting): Kes. 6,999.00 per month inclusive of taxes.
To note is that for all the above packages installation is free, as is the WIMAX receiver. In addition, installation is done within 3 days of sign-up which is a decent turnaround time (I have heard horror stories about Zuku’s installation times since they launched so Safaricom could win market share from them on this basis alone)
Going forward, Safaricom’s WIMAX offerings as above pits them squarely in competition with both AccessKenya and Zuku who both have been signing up a good number of customers for this market segment. What remains to be seen is how they will respond to the “green giant” that is Safaricom as they consolidate an even stronger Internet position beyond their 3G offerings.