Safaricom has been the pioneer in most inventions in the mobile carriers sector for a long time now. Some of the notable milestones include 3G introduction, mobile money among others. It also has the widest coverage of 3G in the country. A major shareholder in the TEAMS cable at 22.5%, Safaricom also has the bulk of mobile internet access, most of these using the mobile phone to connect to the internet. The telecoms leader has been delivering speeds of upto 21Mbps in sections of Nairobi as a pilot, the areas covered are said to be the data belts(ie where there are heavy users). These regions are Lower Kabete, Kileleshwa, Muthiga, Lavington, Westlands and Kyuna. Though I, on my side would not believe them when they say this is where the super users are, since most of these have fixed home connections.
These same regions are now able to access speeds of upto 41Mbps on modems and mobile phones that are high speed data enabled. Such devices like the 42Mbps data modem that will retail for Kshs 10,000 in the Safaricom shops and mobile devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note. While on the same breath, Bob Collymore defended the move to throttle the unlimited offers down from the previous 512mbps that was being witnessed till some days ago. Bob attributed this to a select number of users who would do upto 35Gb downloads in a day, forcing the rest of users to share a minimal resource. He added that these were a very few individuals, but consumed the greatest percentage of the infrastructure.
Bob also said that at the moment he views the unlimited data offering as something that could be out of future strategies as it has come to be unprofitable. He noted that globally, carriers are shying away from unlimited offering due to abuse by users, adding that Fair Usage Policy should guide the use of the said products.
Safaricom will be testing Long Term Evolution(LTE) as a way to boost internet speeds, but that is pegged on whether they are allocated the right frequency spectrum by the regulator, which is the Government.