Have you bought the Safaricom Big Box? Safaricom Big Box is a Set Top Box that has Internet capabilities. As a Set Top Box, it allows a user to watch Free to Air TV channels currently being distributed by Signet and PANG. As an Internet TV Dongle (allow me to term it that way), it supports up to 4G Internet and this allows you to access online content via the TV. The Internet can also be distributed to other gadgets like phones and laptops through the WiFi Tethering that has been embedded on the Big Box.
Many were waiting for the Safaricom Big Box in anticipation that it would offer formidable competition to Zuku’s Triple Play. Thoughts were that the Big Box would offer a suitable monthly subscription plan to both Internet and premium TV content. The expectations were based on the fact that Safaricom has been rolling out its fibre infrastructure across the country faster than any other ISP, and was also said to be working on producing TV content in house.
But three weeks into launch, it is now clear that the Safaricom Big Box is basically a Set Top Box that has Internet access as a value add service, for now. In a year or two, the Internet value add might turn around to be the core service.
The Safaricom Big Box as a Set Top Box
The primary reason you should buy the Safaricom Big Box is to use it as a free to air TV channels receiver. There are many who think that the primary focus for the Big Box is the Internet offering for video streaming. If that were the case, then it will be apparent that Zuku’s Triple Play is a much better offer than the Big Box. This is because Zuku’s 10 Mbps Internet/TV/Phone offer has unlimited Internet that allows you to watch 101+ Zuku channels (actually all Zuku channels), provides you with free Zuku to Zuku calls and allows you to access free Wi-Fi across the country via the free Wi-Fi Zuku Internet hot spots and you’ll only need to part with Shs 4,300 each month.
For Safaricom to compete with the Zuku’s Triple Play option, it will need to offer unlimited Internet access. But if you consider Safaricom Big Box as a Set Top Box for free to air service, then the advantages become apparent. The Big Box can be used to watch FTA TV even without Internet.
A question you may want to ask at this point is whether it is necessary to buy the Safaricom Big Box yet you can access free to air set top boxes for Shs 3,500 or less when the Big Box goes for Shs 10,000 cash sale or Shs 11,000 at hire purchase sale. An STB for shs 3,500 and a modem for shs 2,000 sounds cheaper, right? Let’s see about that in the next page.