Safaricom recently increased the price for Big Box lowest 5GB data bundle from KShs 1,199 to KShs 1,999 without any communication to subscribers or reasonable justification seeing that internet costs are declining daily. I actually envision a time when internet will be free.
With KShs 2,000 you get 15GB data with both Airtel and Telkom Kenya. With Faiba 4G internet you get 40GB for KShs 2,000. KShs 1,000 gives you 25GB of 4G Faiba internet. The only challenges with Faiba being the possible need for a new device as most do not support its network band and also their limited coverage.
While there is no doubt that Safaricom has superior network reliability and wide coverage as well as good customer care other players are catching up fast.
Many claim that Safaricom is unbeatable for many years to come but I believe they will soon start ceding market share to competing network operators and mobile money service providers.
Today it is way cheaper to send money using your bank’s mobile banking service than with MPesa. Airtel and Telkom Kenya recently received their 4G licenses and will soon be rolling services countrywide. Internet based mobile loan providers such as Branch and Tala are also giving Safaricom a run for its money. Currently, we have 25 digital credit providers in the Kenyan market.
Safaricom continues to act with arrogance and to overcharge their customers because of their superior network. This is a poor strategy because it is very easy to replicate technological advantages as opposed to customer loyalty and good relationships.
When other operators match Safaricom technologically, we will not forget how Safaricom behaved when advantage was on their side. Safaricom has a lot to learn from the Barclays and Stanchart’s of this world.