2018’s celebration of the holy month of Ramadan for our Muslim brothers and sisters started a few days ago. To encourage some Kenyan Muslims who may need to reach out to their friends and family abroad, Telkom Kenya, Kenya’s third largest telecoms provider, is reminding people that phone calls made to China, Canada, India, the U.S., and U.K. are fixed at KES 2 per minute.
This reminder is part of the telco’s campaign dubbed #EveryBobCounts that has embarked on taking jabs at rival mobile service providers, particularly for data bundle purchases. We have looked at some of the value propositions by Telkom, and while they make good points about getting more for less, its coverage is not as robust as the green network that is mostly reliable in several parts of the country.
On the other hand, Telkom offers international bundles that can be purchased specifically for out-of-Kenya phone calls. For instance, KES 99 will net you 30 minutes of talk time. Additional offers include 60 minutes, 180 minutes and 500 minutes for KES 199, KES 499 and KES 999 respectively. While the deal for the aforementioned 5 countries is better, it is a good thing that Telkom has set aside bundles for people who make international calls.
The practicality of using carrier services to make voice calls continue to diminish owing to the blooming of chat apps, some of which are equipped with voice calls capabilities. WhatsApp, which is arguably the most popular chat app in Kenya allows users to make calls via an internet connection. In fact, you can use the app to make decent video calls too if your internet connection is robust. Telegram has since been updated to make calls too. AAso, apps such as Viber have been doing the same thing for years and can be complemented by latest additions from Google (Duo), among many others.
In sum, there is no limit of the channels used for reaching out to friends and family who live beyond our national borders, though Telkom’s bundles make sense for reliability that is often lacking for internet calls.