Safaricom new data tariff , browse at ksh.2 per minute..jienjoy

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For a long time my beef with Safaricom has been on the wording of unlimited internet access. I have said this several times, charge me what you want but give me a given time frame where I can access the net without restrictions. For some of us who literally do everything online,  on one hand there is a download going on, on the other hand there is uploading of the files  going and more than  20 browser tabs open at the same time. With the bundle method you find yourself the real donor  to Safaricom without any rewards…..jeeez…

Now that has changed with the new tariff.  Ok, let me start from the beginning, Safaricom today is launching a new data tariff billed at Ksh.2 per minute. By the way the billing part is per second but a total of 2 bob per minute. Yes charging is per second for the duration over which you have an active data connection for both mobile phones and modems i.e you stop being charged once you disconnect from the internet. It’s important to disconnect your mobile phone or modem from the internet while you aren’t browsing to ensure you don’t continue to be charged. That is right guys…more so for those of you complaining about Android eating all your credits….

How limited is the unlimited part of it?  For Ksh.2 within one minute, you are completely accessing the internet unlimited.  In other words the rate is flat. You are charged at 2/- per minute regardless of the amount of data you download, upload, browse, tweet, chat and MKZed. There are no hidden charges according to sources within Safaricom.

The browse at 2/- per minute is valid as long as you have airtime.  So the minute you go broke to the point of considering okoa jahazi, Safaricom will leave you alone.. Confirmed. All that means is that this new tariff is basically for those on prepay arrangement..mmmh Post pay guys sorry..

Once upon time Safaricom used to like the dreaded Terms and Conditions applied to anything they brought to the market, be it service on offer or permanent tariffs and others. Then Airtel came in and made those words evil and now for sure on the new data tariff, there is nothing like that. God bless competition…

Activation and Deactivation

Back to the basic and the beginning how do you  get in? Simple, send an SMS with the word ON to 142 and this will activate your number to this tariff.  Now you are a member….You can also dial *142# from your mobile phone to activate this service. Due to many numbers I have to remember these days, I find it hard to keep mobile phone operators different short codes in my head. If you are like me, you are welcome to come back here anytime and check.

You want out as I know some will do, send an SMS with the word OFF to 142 from your mobile phone or modem line. An SMS confirmation message will be sent upon successful deactivation.

At  Ksh.2 per minute is not that cheap. I mean compared to what is already in the market like orange Ksh.950 for seven days Unlimited. But we all know that Safaricom has one  distinct advantage over the others. The speed.

So why I am excited about this tariff?  For a long time the Safaricom charges have been based on the data bundles. Data bundles are tricky customers to any user. When you chuck ksh.1000 to buy a data bundle of 600MB, you can use that for a whole month or you can use that in the next five minutes. The main difference is that browse at 2 charges you on the duration of time over which you access the internet while for the existing data bundles you are charged based on the volume of data accessed. If you are a heavy data user then data bundles might not work for you unless the cash is your other name like the real Mike Sonko.  . Now you can see why my safaricom modem has been resting somewhere at the corner of my house for many months despite the fact that I have to use the damn slow others.

With this tariff if you chuck Ksh.100 to top up. You know that you will be using that for the next 50 minutes. Within that time you have full access of the internet including downloading and uploading of files.  Let just call it the cyber model, or something like that.

In Summary

  • Active data bundles will have to be consumed first until they are exhausted or expired before you can enjoy per minute billing.
  • Existing out of bundle internet rates are applicable if you have not subscribed to any data plan i.e. either existing PrePay data bundles or browse at 2/- tariff.
  • This Tariff is not applicable to roaming subscribers.  Roamers will be migrated to the volume based data plan.
  • Charging is per second for the duration over which you have an active internet connection and you will stop being charged once you disconnect from the internet.
  • This service is only applicable to PrePay subscribers.
  • Going nowhere, you still earn Bonga points while browsing using this tariff.
  • To top up use the existing top up methods such as Safaricom scratch cards, M-PESA, Sambaza etc.
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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