Safaricom’s ‘The Big Box’ Now Official: Here’s All You Need To Know

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Safaricom’s ‘Big Box’ is now official. The company’s long awaited media streaming box will offer over 30 local free-to-air TV channels and access the internet via Wi-Fi, 3G/LTE or a wired connection. It also serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot like we had anticipated. Users can share the Big Box’s cellular data with up to 10 other devices.

With the Big Box, Safaricom is going after the home entertainment industry targeting at least 2.4 million Kenyan households out of the 3.2 million that have access to digital TV but are not using any of the set boxes available on the market.

The Big Box runs on Android even though you’ll be limited on the number of applications you can install on it. It has just 1 GB RAM and 4 GB internal storage. That is however expandable to 32 GB using a microSD card or a USB flash drive. Users can play content stored on external storage media using the iMedia Player application. Navigation of applications on the home drawer and inside apps like the browser can be done via the remote controller. For applicable channels, it will stream in High Definition. There’s a HDMI port at the back of the Box and it comes with a HDMI cable right out of the box. There’s also an ethernet port at the back of the decoder just in case you want to connect it to your wired network setup.



Safaricom will be giving buyers of the Big Box free 6 GB data per month for 6 months and 3 months free YouTube.

The Safaricom Big Box will cost Ksh 9,999. That’s a one-off fee and buyers of the Big Box won’t pay anything else after that unless it is data bundles they are buying which is something different. You can also get it at Ksh 4,999 through the Easy Pay Plan after which you’ll be required to pay Ksh 999 installments monthly for six months.

The following are the data bundles on offer for the Big Box monthly:

  •  6 GB – Ksh 999
  • 10 GB – Ksh 1,500
  •  20 GB – Ksh 2,000
  •  50 GB – Ksh 4,000

Users can buy the bundles for the decoder in various ways:

  • Dialing *422# from their mobile phones and entering the decoder number after which they’ll be prompted to select their preferred bundle.
  • Using M-PESA . This uses the *422# USSD. Dial it from the mobile phone number used to register the decoder upon purchase, enter the decoder number, select the preferred data bundle, enter the PIN and you’ll get the relevant notifications
  • Online purchase. Through your computer, smartphone or tablet, safaricom.com/bundles will still work
  • Sambaza. We are not so sure how this one is supposed to work since Safaricom has capped data bundle sambaza to just 20 MB and surely 20 MB can never be enough on a media streaming box. Anyway, you can sambaza data bundles to your Box decoder using your primary line i.e. line used to register it. However, it is not possible to sambaza the Big Box’s data to your other devices.
  • Directly from the Box decoder itself. From the decoder’s internet home page, select the ‘My Account’ icon on the applications menu, go to TV option and choose preferred data bundle.

The Big Box decoder is available throughout the country in all Safaricom shops.

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47 COMMENTS


  1. That offer where did you get the info from from their shops at I’m and Kimathi street they say no such offer exists, the one off for 5 k


      • Aw that was a great offer that never was, I have a digital TV and was willing to buy it for the Android on TV, it looks well built and certainly is a good box. If u get a review unit kindly flesh out full specs which processor, amount of ram internal storage and the version of android.


    • I guess they say it is channel streaming, as in that like of the internet, its only they have already book marked them


    • This a hybrid, just like the average free to air set top box but with android on top, so you get the free channels available to others. We will confirm soon as we have the box with us.


    • Here’s the list of channels on the big box k24 Tv

      Citizen TV
      KTN
      NTV
      Kingdom TV
      Express Live TV
      Kiss TV
      Hope TV
      Family TV
      Youth TV
      QTV
      3Stones TV
      Kass TV
      Two Evolution
      GETV
      EATV
      Property TV
      Sauti ya Rehema
      Fountain TV
      Bazaar TV
      Vision
      Kaaba TV
      Dove TV
      UTV
      God TV
      iTV
      KBC Channel 1
      GBS
      Edu TV
      Bunge TV
      Lake Victoria TV
      Gor TV
      Senate TV
      Aviation TV
      Revival TV
      Dream TV
      Joy TV
      Millenium TV
      Adventist TV
      Deliverance TV
      Times TV
      West TV
      Daystar TV


  2. It can be awesome if you do a full review, is it a better option than zuku? Coz on zuku I stream YouTube videos without a problem.


  3. Is this a modem or a set top box? How can T.v viewership be billed in “bundles”. Charging consumers “bundles” then disconnecting them when bundles run out is a sure way for failure.
    Safaricom, should stick to a one flat payment fee regardless of the internet data used by the consumer. This is the model used by other providers and it is a success.
    Secondly,where is the list of channels it will broadcast?


    • No on is being charged for viewership. This is still a FTA set-top box. The bundles are for the in-built wifi hotspot that comes with the box.

      You can still watch TV without bundles, just that the wifi won’t work.


  4. This is OK as a decoder but as a WiFi hotspot it stinks so bad even the neighbours will complain!

    PROS
    – As a TV DVB T2 decoder is fine.
    – You can record programs to external HDD. I tried with a 500GB hard disk and it was beautiful.

    CONS
    – Takes a bit longer to start than most other decoders (not really a deal breaker)
    – YouTube app is dead on arrival
    – It CONSTANTLY loses internet connection.
    – Picture is not smooth under heavy WiFi usage.
    – Sometimes it shuts down when downloading too much.
    – No manual!
    – Safcom lied through the teeth on the offer.
    – Browser is sloooooooow
    – Struggles on Youtube HD using the browser
    – Not good value for money.


  5. The big box requires that you buy an external aerial. Instead of buying that mesh looking aerial can I connect the one for DSTV Dish satelite plug in?


    • Lucas, the two are different technologies, you can’t use a satellite dish for a terrestrial set top box, which all are including this one. If it was possible then GOtv users would use DStv dishes. Which they don’t.


  6. Sadly Safaricom is violating the GNU General Public License (GPL by distributing works derived from GPL-licensed without releasing appropriate source code. See GPL v2 Section 3, which demands this.

    Let’s get it on the record that Safaricom is violating the GPL.


  7. how much of Nairobi is covered by safaricom’s 4G? I leave in Kahawa west and I have had less that 30 minutes of internet since I bought thie bigbox 3 weeks ago.


  8. Its a CONBOX. My experience has been bad. Internet drops quite often. They claim 4G connection but you can feel it only by the speed at which the bundles get exhausted but not by the internet performance. One of the services in Kenya where you pay a premium and get poor service


    • There seems to be no after sales support for this Big Box..I purchased one but nobody in Safaricom is giving solution to my problems…..

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