Safaricom Limited has partnered with PSV operators in an initiative that will see passengers access free internet in more than 200 matatus and buses by September this year. A total of 46 PSV vehicles plying the Buruburu, Langata, Rongai, Umoja, Githurai, Dandora, Kiambu and Kenyatta University routes have already been fitted with sub-sidised Wi-Fi routers in the Kshs.7 million initiative which is part of the Telco’s on-going effort to grow its data footprint.
Earlier today Safaricom flagged off PSVs in Nairobi’s Buru Buru Estate at the launch of a new data product named Vuma Online. This is a partnership with PSV Operators in Buruburu, Langata, Rongai, Umoja, Githurai, Dandora, Kiambu and Kenyatta University routes that already has 46 PSVs set up with WiFi routers that allow them give free WiFi to passengers in them. The arrangement initially will have over 200 vehicle set up by end of September in the pilot project that based on success could be scaled to other towns. Currently this setup is in Nairobi. The initiative is a Kshs 7 million project that is part of Safaricom’s push to increase the data footprint.
“Most of our customers use Matatus and buses as their preferred mode of transport on a day to day basis. This therefore presents us with a fantastic opportunity to drive home the internet story and make it a way of life among our customers which we believe we will achieve by availing free WiFi internet in matatus,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
In the arrangement, Matatus are fitted with routers that have SIM cards loaded with 10 GB data and passengers will just need to connect to the WiFi which will be an open connection. Interestingly there are many people who have devices that can access WiFi don’t utilise the feature to save data since they may not have places they would otherwise utilize this. Devices, even feature phones like Nokia Asha and Samsung Chat are able to access WiFi so this might go a long way in getting people engaged in data.