Telkom Kenya, which operates the Orange brand in Kenya, has unveiled a new entry-level, 3G enabled, smart phone into the local market. The Huawei Gaga, retailing for US $ 105 (Kshs 8,799) is targeted at middle income earners, students and young professionals.
The Huawei Gaga, to be sold via Orange sales outlets and partner shops, also brings with it a new experience to accessing social media platforms – such as FaceBook and Twitter.
The 3G enabled device also comes bundled with free one month unlimited data from Orange, has a 3.5 mega pixel camera, amongst other innovative features, that allow for the user to share internet connectivity with colleagues with other Wi-Fi enabled devices, in the same location. This turns the Huawei Gaga into a portable Wi-Fi hot spot.
The one month unlimited data bundle will however only be valid for 30 days on activation, after which the customer needs to make a top up with any amount of airtime.
According to Telkom Kenya CEO, Mickael Ghossein, affordability of smart phones is critical to pushing the country’s internet penetration beyond the current rate of 8 per cent.
A recent research by Informa Telecoms and Media shows that the 3G/WCDMA subscriptions had grown by 157 per cent last year, representing 6 per cent of the total mobile subscription in the region. The report also indicates that by the end of 2011, smartphone connections represented 5 per cent of Africa’s total mobile subscription.
But as part of aggressively growing the data revenues and subscription numbers, Ghossein affirmed that Orange was working to ensure access to affordable data devices such as laptops, handsets and modems.