4G coverage now available across all 47 Counties. For the first time ever, Kenya has in the month of November 2017 achieved the milestone of 1 million active 4G customers. Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) said the milestone was achieved on the back of an expanding 4G network, increased affordability of 4G smartphones and more affordable data bundles.
“The country has consistently stood out as a global innovation powerhouse and a leader in global mobile technology adoption. This milestone further cements Kenya’s position and establishes a strong foundation for future innovation,” said Joseph Ogutu, Director – Strategy, Safaricom.
The company says the milestone has been achieved with its 4G network now available across all 47 counties in the country. Safaricom became the first network to rollout a 4G network in the country in December 2014. Last year, the firm began an accelerated 4G network expansion across key towns in the country, coupled with the rollout of enhanced 4G+ technology. 4G+ sites allow customers to experience speeds in excess of 150 Megabits per second (Mbps).
As a result of this accelerated expansion, Safaricom now has more than 1,400 4G sites reaching more than 33 percent of the country’s population. The company also says more than 16 percent of its 4G sites are on 4G+ or LTE Carrier Aggregation Technology.
More Kenyans can now afford 4G devices with the price having dropped to as low as Sh. 6,000. Data prices on Safaricom have also reduced by an aggregate of 29 percent, leading to increasing usage. In December 2017, the company will be rewarding its 4G customers by offering a free data bundle equivalent to every monthly bundle purchased.
In May 2017, Akamai in its “State of The Internet” report ranked Kenya as having the 43rd fastest internet speeds in the world, and the third fastest average speeds in Africa. This placed the country ahead of Australia, Egypt and South Africa.
Safaricom was also named as the Ookla SpeedTest Award winner in October 2017 for having the fastest internet speeds in the country, with average download speeds of 21.25 Mbps and uploads of 9.67 Mbps. Safaricom customers in Mombasa experienced the fastest average download speeds at 21.22 Mbps, followed by Nairobi at 22.18 Mbps and Nakuru at 21.07 Mbps.
SAFARICOM APP UPDATE BRINGS NEW FEATURES
19 December 2017
Customers can now access M-Shwari, KCB M-PESA, M-PESA Bill Manager and Data Usage on the App
Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has released an updated version of the mySafaricom smartphone application, bringing a range of new M-PESA features and a data usage manager. With the updated version, M-PESA customers can now access all M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA functions.
The new release also introduces a number of new M-PESA features including a Lipa Na M-PESA Bill Manager, in-phone M-PESA 1Tap capabilities and the ability to make Lipa Na M-PESA payments by scanning a QR code.
“In 2016, we introduced the mySafaricom app as a modern and convenient way for smartphone users to interact with our services. This new update brings a range of refinements that will further increase the ease and convenience enjoyed by our customers whenever they interact with our different services,” said Joseph Ogutu, Director – Strategy, Safaricom.
The Bill Manager feature empowers customers to manage all their bills in one place and also provides a list of popular bills and those frequently accessed by a customer. The new feature increases the accuracy of payments by eliminating the need to key in the PayBill number and also increases the speed of making a payment by cutting down on the number of steps previously taken. Customers can also set bill reminders through the Bill Manager feature.
M-PESA customers will now also have the option to make M-PESA Agent withdrawals and Lipa Na M-PESA payments by scanning a QR code, then keying in the amount. This new feature further increases the speed and accuracy when making payments on the service. Safaricom has already began rolling out new Lipa Na M-PESA stickers with QR codes to the more than 140,000 M-PESA agents and 80,000 Lipa Na M-PESA merchants.
Safaricom has also introduced the option of making Lipa Na M-PESA payments through the recently rolled out M-PESA 1Tap solution. Customers with Android handsets that support Near Field Communication (NFC) technology can configure their phones as a virtual M-PESA 1Tap card, allowing them to tap their phones to make payments. This will complement the current M-PESA 1Tap stickers, wrist bands and cards.
The new update also introduces a Data Usage manager that allows customers to view their data usage for a given period and a list of applications and data used by each app during the period. The feature can be accessed by selecting the “Data Usage” feature under the app’s Menu.
The mySafaricom App has been available since May 2016 through the Android Google Play Store and the Apple App Store with more than 1.6 million customers downloading the app to date.