Safaricom Discontinues PrePay Roaming Top Up Service in East Africa


Mobile operator Safaricom has put an end to prepay roaming top-up services. This comes after the telecommunications company said that there are better options that have made the scrapped service fall behind its time.

Prepay roaming top-up services were introduced by the nation’s top mobile services company sometime in 2008 in an effort to enhance roaming within East African nations. Using the service, customers could top-up their lines using airtime/scratch cards from roaming partners in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi. Prior to its introduction, Safaricom subscribers in those regions had a challenge in topping up their lines for SMS, voice and data services. In most cases, travelers were forced to purchase airtime from credit vendors on a premium than it normally costs.

“However, availability of better options for topping up has rendered this service obsolete. Safaricom customers will still be able to top up while roaming through M-PESA and Sambaza,” says the telco.

As stated, Safaricom prepay users who make trips round the East African bloc will use M-PESA or Sambaza to load their lines for communication purposes. This makes sense as Safaricom continues to improve its money-minting platform for better services and options. Apart from purchasing airtime from your M-PESA account, the product has been spun by the telco to incorporate various services, including Lipa na M-PESA that cuts through paying bills and buying goods and services for thousands of businesses, to mention a few.

This development does not mean that Safaricom is slowing down in improving roaming services. In fact, the telco introduced regional roaming that allows Safaricom users to do their business in East Africa without additional charges on their bills as we covered on this post. It will still continue offering better and innovative roaming products to bolster the service.