With Safaricom’s bundle tariff called Chattitude – which, just like Orange’s Hola, is mostly targeted at the youth segment – customers will be able to access Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp for a day at Kshs.10 a day, which roughly translates to Kshs 300 a month.
On the hand, the Orange Hola tariff is rechargeable via a daily Kshs 10 subscription, enables pre paid customers to enjoy round the clock, free on net calls to other Orange Mobile users, free on net SMSs, 20 free off net SMSs and 10 MB of data daily. With Hola, Orange users also have free and complete access to social networking site – Facebook. To subscribe, one dials *10#
“The youth have really been behind the increasing demand for data, to support their preferred communication channels. With this campaign, we are not only offering a solution to the cost associated with access, but we’ve gone a step further to map it to relevant content”, said Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore.
Collymore added that the Kshs.10 daily bundle will automatically renew after every 24 hours and in the event that the bundle fails to renew due to lack of funds then access to the three sites will be charged at normal cost.
Safaricom’s data customers currently stand at 9.1 million, with over 1.3 million customers already using smartphones. Over 20 million megabytes are used every day, on the network. Data revenue for Safaricom has grown from 13% in FY 2009 to 29% in FY 2012. Last year data revenue grew by 23% growth.
Overall internet usage in Kenya rose 11.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2012 driven by high mobile usage. This is reflective of the overall growth patterns in Africa where the internet and broadband sectors have experienced exponential growth in recent years due to improved infrastructure, the introduction of affordable mobile phones and lower tariffs.
A growing middle class and a more discerning youth are also driving increased data usage both in Kenya and on the continent. That said, Africa still has some of the lowest penetration rates in the world.