Safaricom has dropped by an average of 50 percent data charges with entry of the mobile operator into the internet-to-home data market.
In the new plan, the company has doubled amount of data bundles but retained the original cost in a strategic move to lure subscribers to buy its internet-enabled digital tv set top box launched Friday last week.
The set top box(The BIGbox) cost Sh 10,000 and comes with a Wi-Fi router that supports upto 10 users and leverages on 4G technology.
The company targets to convert its 2.4 million mobile phone subscribers into consumers of its set-top box to gain a foothold in the data market as it takes the data battle to Wananchi’s Zuku-Which has a similar offering that includes broadcast.
“Safaricom hopes to target untapped demand in the home broadband market as well reach estimated 2.4 million out of 3.2 million households that access digital tv sets,” said the company’s Chief executive officer, Bob Collymore.
Subscribers who have purchased the decoder will enjoy extra 4 GB in internet bundles when they subscribe to the cheapest plan of 6GB at Sh 999 in a monthly plan.
Mobile phone subscribers are currently charged a similar amount for 2GB bundle.
Premium customers will pay Sh 2,750 less at Sh 4,000 for a 50GB bundle plan compared to Sh 6,750 charged on mobile subscribers.
“Our strategy is to go big in the data business, we are not competing in the digital tv market but want to our customers content on demand through online videos like YouTube,” said Safaricom’s Consumer business general manager, Sylvia Mulinge.
Safaricom’s data charges are now the cheapest after Zuku its closest rival reviewed upwards its cheapest package to Sh 1,200 per month citing high operation costs.