This is going to be a big day for 34-year-old Eliud Kipchoge as he tries to achieve a remarkable feat to demonstrate how we as humans can be unlimited. Eliud Kipchoge will be competing against the clock to run in the INEOS 1:59 challenge that will take place in Vienna’s Prater Park. For this challenge, He will attempt to run the 42-kilometre race in under 2 hours and be the first person to break this daunting barrier.
In 2017, Eliud tried to break the two-hour barrier in a recent Nike Breaking2 event in Monza, Italy and clocked in 2:00:25. He currently holds the men’s marathon world record in which he finished a September 2018 Berlin marathon in 2hrs(2hr 01min 39sec). The first Olympic marathon runner did it in under 3 hours in Athens in 1896 and it was a shorter 40km race.
There has been a lot of anticipation about this race that will be a test of commitment and breaking barriers and limits for not only the athlete but also for Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telco, and one of Africa’s most influential mobile operators.
The company which boasts of providing fast internet speeds on mobile data recently rebranded in support of the athlete to have the christen the M-Pesa logo with an ELIUD 1:59 moniker.
From 8 am to 4 pm, Safaricom is giving Kenyans a chance to stream the race live on YouTube with a new dedicated USSD code by dialling *159# to receive free data from Safaricom. The promotion bundle gives you free 1.59 GB YouTube bundle that is valid till midnight.
Safaricom has in the past provided special bundles like the GigaFootball bundle that let its subscribers watch the World Cup on their devices.
Safaricom prides itself in offering fast and reliable mobile data and offering users free data to stream the race will be a test on their end as it is expected that its more than 31 million subscribers will tune in to stream the race.
The free bundle will also give a chance for people not into sports a chance to take part in watching the record-breaking race wherever they are.
Safaricom has been rolling out more 4G stations to provide access to affordable, quality, high-speed broadband countrywide. The company recently started using TubeStar Base Stations to replace standard tower base stations targeted at urban areas. This financial year they are planning to spend KES 36 billion to see the carrier add 2030 4G and 4G+ stations to an already impressive coverage.
In its plan to increase 4G adoption, Safaricom has also been promoting new Neon devices that are budget 4G devices(its cheapest device retails for Ksh 3,999) that take advantage of the carrier’s extensive LTE coverage. The devices have been received well as Safaricom has so far sold 600,000 units.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
Today’s race is going to be huge if successful – not only if Eliud achieves to finish the race in under 2 hours but also if Safaricom delivers uninterrupted live stream with no buffering to the users who will be watching the race. If things go according to plan, this event will cement the telco’s position of offering the best, fast and reliable mobile data provider in the region.
Connecting millions of people won’t be Safaricom’s real test, connecting them at the same time streaming live video in good quality will be.