While Internet companies, in particular telecos, have done a tremendous job of driving Internet penetration and adoption figures, a majority of Kenyans still do not have access to internet services and have since limited their use of phones to 2 G networks. Most of the time, this group makes voice calls, sends SMS, and mobile money transactions.
During 2019/2020 FY financial announcement by Safaricom, CEO Peter Ndegwa confirmed that a vast population is still locked into 2 G phones, citing a difficult economic climate as the key reason people can’t afford smart devices.
It’s for this reason that Safaricom wants to address this gap with the Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo System Financing program.
The campaign to be conducted alongside Google and Teleone targets customer who earn daily wages. With Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, one can acquire smart phone of their choice by making daily installments from as little as Ksh 20 while enjoying internet on the LTE network.
The Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo program is expected to be launched in June.
For the time being, we can just assume which kind of devices is going to be distributed. Since this is a low-cost plan, we expect Android Go smartphones running the latest version of Google’s operating system, hence the name Go moniker.
Safaricom is now offering he low-budget NEON-branded smartphones. Whether the business will bring in more models to support the promotion is something that we will know in due course.
Smartphone phones are essential to embracing the modern challenges brought on by COVID19. Lipa Mdogo Mdogo aims to help Kenyans during and after this pandemic by providing them with more opportunities to study, operate or run businesses from the comfort of their homes”, said Safaricom CEO Ndegwa.
“Approximately 60 per cent of the cell phone base deployed in Kenya is still on 2G feature phones and 40 per cent of smartphones with main obstacles to people accesing internet data affordability and smart device. We believe that this Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo partnership with Safaricom will give more Kenyans exposure and the means to take part in online opportunities, “says Mariama Abdullahi, Director, Mobile, and Platforms Partnerships for Africa.