Is Yu the Fastest expanding network in Africa?

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When Yu launched its operation in Kenya sometime last year, many people highly doubted its chances of success in Kenya. Operating in Kenya as the fourth mobile service provider was not going to be easy in a country where people have queer calling habits. At the time the largest mobile phone service provider Safaricom ?had just made record profit in the tune of KSh.17 billion . But give it to Yu? for ?making inroad in the market slowly and the competitors might be in for a rude shock. ?On Monday they announced that they have attained countrywide network coverage. ?Chief Executive Officer Srinivasa Iyengar said it has activated 500 Base Transmitting Stations (BTS) ?with ?a further 250 sites undergoing construction ahead of their network integration in the coming month . It is also aiming of attaining 2 million subscribers by May next year. This made the CEO Mr.Srinivasa Iyengar to describe Yu as the fastest expanding network in Africa, having achieved countrywide roll out within the first year of operation.

By all imagination this is huge for them, as far as I know majority of people have stayed away from their network because of their limited network coverage ( limited to Nairobi and Mombasa only). Yu strategy of providing services ?at a cheaper rate than most of its rival seems to be working. It has turned most of its clients to consumer advocates , fighting hard to have other Kenyans join them. I have heard the following statement from many of my friends in the last few months ? Kachwanya why are you not buying Yu line, aki a Mungu it is the cheapest in Kenya today?

My answer to that has always been standard although I know I might not be able to resist them for long. ?I have been using Safaricom for a long time and my number is widely spread to many of my clients and others. Changing it at this point will highly inconvenience them since there is no easier way to inform all of them that I have changed.

Yu services

Yu services

Going through Yu website I came a cross so many interesting Offers and promotions currently being carried out. The website is well structured with detailed explanations of how to use their services and good information about their prices. The highly noticeable is The Umenoki Offer which is about calls and free smses within Yu network.

Je, Umenoki?
yu, is offering you unbeatable call and sms rates. You cannot find these rates on any other networks in the country.

With only 20 bob, you can talk for 12 minutes from yu to yu unlike on other networks where you can only do 2.5 minutes and 2.85 minutes. Calling across networks from yu costs 7.50 bob while calling across networks from other providers costs 8.00 bob. Unbelievable? Wait till you see our SMS rates.

Yu to yu SMS are FREE while across networks costs 3.50 bob.

Crazy don’t you think? Kuja tunoki pamoja!

Other Services

  • Mobile Data

Then there is Mobile data services. ??At Ksh.3 ($.0.04) per mb, it is fairly cheaper rate as compared to the ?others in the market. ?The only question remaining on this one is the speed. But that should not be a problem since we are expecting all the ISPS to be connected to fiber optic cable in now or in the coming months.

  • Dunda

Ringback tune service ?called Dunda which is described as Ring back tunes with personality on their site

  • Eneza Electronic Top Up:
eneza top up

eneza top up

The environmentally friendly electronic top up service which enable the subscribers to top any amount from Kshs.10 to Kshs. 99,999 straight to their phone without using scratch card.

  • Imoved service

I have never understood how this one work. At first I thought it was a way to allow the subscriber to move to move to other network, which is a bit weird considering how organizations behave as regard to their subscribers leaving their network. Then I realized it has something to do with call diverts to specified number ?+254 750 008 000. I think someone who has used the service can explain it better.

  • MMS

A picture ?worth a thousand words and so they say. With the Yu MMS option you can send and receive multi-media messages at the touch of a button.

Zain ?losing out

Whenever there is a action according to Physics law there is equal and opposite reaction. And if we have to go with that, then it means with Yu gaining, there is somebody losing badly here. My immediate guess will go to Zain. For a long time Kenyans have known that Zain has superior services to their rivals in term s of the clear network, and even pricing but the most ironic fact is that Kenyans have never embraced Zain despite all that.? The reason for this could go beyond simple explanation. Zain has tried all it can,? but all the time it gets beaten at its own game by Safaricom. In the beginning when it was still known Kencell it made a mistake by using per minute billing while Safaricom adoted per second billing. By the time it turned round to per second billing it was too late. Then came name changing craze which I think somehow put off the Kenyans, Kencel to Celtel to Zain and that might not be the end.

Of late they seem to have given up on the market and just concentrating on looking for suitable buyer. By relaxing Zain has given Yu and Orange an opening which they are surely exploiting to the maximum.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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