NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan youths are enjoying record low internet
charges as competition for data market between the three telecom
firms in the East African intensifies.
people, who are the biggest subscribers of the internet via
mobile phone, are currently paying about 1 U.S. dollar for 2
gigabyte (GB) of data. It is the lowest charge since the advent
of the internet in the East African.
Some telecom firms have even bettered the deal for the youth,
offering various data bundles alongside free calls and text
The East African nation has some 30 million internet
subscribers, according to the data from the Communication
Authority of Kenya.
Smartphone penetration has surged to about 50 percent of the
40 million mobile users in the country.
The number has been rising over the years as prices of
Low-cost smartphones from Chinese manufacturers like Techno
are now going for 25 dollars.
One further gets good internet-enabled phones from 10
The affordable gadgets have, therefore, kept the number of
internet users in the East African nation on the rise, making
the telcoms intensify fight for the data market.
From offering standalone data bundles, the three telecom
firms in the East African nation namely Safaricom, Airtel and
Telkom have products that incorporate calls, SMSs, internet and
free access to social media sites.
"I am happy with internet costs.
"The service is almost free," university student Faith
Anyango said Friday.
Anyango subscribes to daily bundles of between 500 megabytes
(MB) and 2GB depending on her needs.
The 21-year-old student literally spends all her time on the
internet, especially when she is on long holiday.
"I do research, chat with friends on social media sites and
follow news events from across the world on my phone without
worrying that my data will lapse," she said.
For motorbike taxi operator David Ngunjiri, the low internet
charges are a blessing. Ngunjiri, 27, has enrolled for
taxi-hailing app service, which demands that he remains online
to get customers.
"I subscribe for daily service at 0.50 dollars, which allows
me to access internet the entire day and get customers," he
The rider said the low internet charges have come as a huge
blessing for him in an industry where there is stiff
"Before I enrolled to the hailing app, I would stay for hours
without getting customers but now 30 minutes hardly ends because
they get me on phone," said Ngunjiri, who operates on the east
Bernard Mwaso, a consultant with Edell IT Solutions, said
internet charges in the country had made great strides.
"I remember 10 years ago we used to pay up to 0.50 dollars
"Such an amount now buys you 500MB, a great milestone," he
He attributed the decline in internet charges to adoption of
fiber optic internet, besides stiff rivalry among telecom firms.