Less than a week ago, Telkom Kenya unveiled a self-utility app called My Telkom for its pre-pay subscribers. The launch was timely, and marked a significant milestone for the operator’s goal of netting additional customers after it rebranded from Orange Kenya a couple of months ago. At the same time, this offering goes in line with Telkom’s mandate in outing new products and offers as often as possible. This has been seen with multiple data and voice offers from the telco.
My Telkom app couldn’t have been released at a better time. At the moment, there are products with dedicated USSD codes. These codes are hard to keep up with, and by the mere fact that some of Telkom users are using dual-SIM handsets (for mobile money mostly – which we hope Telkom will fix with a replacement for Orange Money that got the axe), juggling between USSD codes is a challenge, at least for me. Which brings us to the first point…
SIM management is much easier
Remember mobile tariffs? I’m sure some of you do not bother to check them since local operators slashed call rates a few years ago. A few years ago, tariffs were important because they matched one’s phone habits. They still exist, and Telkom has them as well. Truth is, I didn’t know which tariff I was using until I checked the app. In the same line of thought, you get a one-time glance at your subscription details, including data and airtime balances, their expiration date as well as Ziada points. You do not need to punch in numbers on your phone dialer to access this information anymore.
Robust options for top-ups
You can load airtime with a scratch card, access emergency airtime via PEWA, top up via M-PESA using a paybill number or online via PesaPal, although it is a little bit lengthy. Users can also transfer airtime to family and friends seamlessly.
Notably, only M-PESA is supported. While Airtel Money is not as popular, its inclusion would benefit several users.
Access Telkom’s complete data bundle options
These include Freedom Bundles that are offered on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, as well as ordinary data bundles that range from daily, weekly, monthly, XL and 90-day bundles.
Admittedly, Telkom’s data bundle options are, to say the least, too much. However, by looking at its strategy, it is apparent that this goes in line in with its focus on data, which continues to see appreciable growth and adoption especially by the Kenyan youth. These are people from different walks of life, and a vast pool of options to choose from can only make so much sense. It is an attempt to thwart confusion, and bundling these options in the app, with good explanations is a welcome move.
Access Telkom’s complete package for talk, text and more
Similar to data bundles, My Telkom app is equipped with SMS bundles at a glance, as well as Holla bundles (for voice). Here, you also get access to International bundles (for example, KES 99 gets you 30 minutes of talktime), and Mashariki roaming bundle (only eligible in Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda) that gives pre-pay subscribers 30 min + 70 SMS and 70 min + 120 SMS for KES 500 and 1000 respectively.
The beauty of these services is that they can be accessed with a single click. No need to memorize codes anymore.
As the name suggest, this option shows Telkom Shops/Retailer in your vicinity. Nairobi has the highest number, both for their main and satellite shops. The Western region of the country is poorly served, with only two main offices in Kisumu and Kakamega. The same case is seen for satellite offices. Anyway, subscribers should know that this option exists within the app in case of any issues with their lines.
Having looked at these gains, which are packaged in a well-designed app with blue accents, I’m glad the app is here with us. However, these are a couple of issues that they may need to fix. In my short stint with it, I experienced issues when setting it up (the One Time Password took forever to come through). Also, an option that allows a user to stay logged in should be put in place rather than logging them out after extended inactivity.
I’m still testing the app, and will give my overall verdict in due course.