In a few weeks’ time, Telkom Kenya will mark a year since it transitioned its carrier business from Orange to Telkom. In the process of boosting its reach locally, the operator continues to provide a series of voice and data offers month after month, in addition to strengthening its infrastructure as discussed in this piece and this one.
In a bid to appeal to as many people as possible, the telecoms operator is reaching out to its users to see the essence of the value they get based on obvious comparisons to competitors. The value propositions dubbed ‘Every Bob Counts’ are straightforward and known to many of us.
For instance, Telkom says you can get 500 MB of data, free on-net calls, and free WhatsApp with KES 50 via Freedom bundles. The same amount will give users 150 MB of data and 150 SMS elsewhere.
Whereas calls are capped at KES 4 per minute on Telkom’s primary competitor, the operator slashes the rate by half for calls across its network via Niaje bundles that we discussed here.
While affordable post-pay plans of the past are long gone, operators are bridging the gap by offering more items but at a premium. The same thing is done by Telkom, but highlights that its plan, such as the one that costs KES 2499 per month has no talk time limitations and includes 8 times as much data bundles.
Admittedly, most people, especially those of my age bracket, are always hunting for deals to offset phone bills, particularly for valuable data bundle nuggets that are prohibitively expensive. Telkom sells them well, but their coverage is not as robust as Kenya’ top carrier they are competing with. Let me qualify this statement by saying that I live a few kilometers off Nairobi and have traveled to upcountry places for a series of errands. In my experience, Telkom does not have admirable coverage, especially when accessing internet services.
I understand that within Nairobi’s CBD, among other LTE covered spots, their coverage is every bit as good as competitors, but for my day-to-day use, and others I know elsewhere across the county, the service falls short. Don’t get me wrong though; while competitors are wildly expensive as compared to the same service levels from Telkom, the gap can be bridged if the operator keeps improving its infrastructure. I mean, its post-pay plan is truly unlimited (for voice calls), and you get thousands of MBs at a steal.
Seemingly, Telkom suffers a slight disadvantage to competitors, which can be justified as it tries to grow its business. We will see how things shift in the next couple of months.