Kenya’s giant telco Safaricom said on Tuesday it had launched a programme in partnership with Google that allows its customers to pay for 4G-enabled phones in instalments, as it seeks to increase smart phone usage on its network.
“Safaricom has today unveiled an innovative device financing solution dubbed #LipaMdogoMdogo which is aimed at granting our customers access to economic opportunities presented by the internet,” read the telco’s statement.
“Safaricom will now give qualifying customers easier access to the internet through the Neon Ray Pro, a 4G Android (Go edition) smartphone.”
The company said in April it would partner with Google to offer one million affordable smart phones, with customers paying as little as Ksh. 20 a day over a nine-month period, with the ultimate aim of switching about 4 million 2G and 3G phones to 4G.
“Together with our key partner Google, and specifically Android, we are aiming for an additional one million customers who will be able to access and leverage the power of the internet,” Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said in a video on his Twitter account.
He said the phone, which costs Ksh. 5,999, can be bought with a Ksh. 1,000 down payment, thereafter followed by a Ksh. 20 daily payment until the phone is paid for.
The company, part-owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone, is bolstering its data business to offset a fall in revenue from mobile calls amid a saturated market.
It had 28.6 million customers as of the end of its financial year in March and reported a 13% rise in full-year earnings before interest and tax to Ksh. 101.5 billion.