In the spirit of remaining relevant in the mobile data market, Telkom Kenya announced a new product named Gbambe. It is a data subscription that lasts a cool month, and the good part, at least in theory, is that you only need KES 1000 to enjoy it.
Telkom has been pushing the plan on its socials, which comes at a time when competitors such as Safaricom have an edge because their users can now buy voice or data bundles that do not expire. It is also worth noting that this is not a new trick in the book: one carrier releases a good plan (they call it innovation), another follows suit with an even cheaper or better proposition overall.
Many people love the new Telkom plan, but what you may not know immediately is that Gbambe makes a lot of cuts, and has too many caveats to appeal to someone like yours truly, or groups that want some freedom in the manner they use their online data nuggets. And which are these missteps? – and we are glad you ask because typical to most of us, we do not have the time to go through the plan’s terms and conditions to know that:
- You get a 1 GB daily allocation, which, should you exhaust it before that day ends, locks you out from the internet unless you buy another bundle or wait for the following distribution.
- This means that Telkom does not explicitly give you 30 GB at once, and I find that dishonest.
- It will get momentarily slow. You expected this: the speeds do not go full cycle because so many users have reported some form of throttling – which is not surprising (to me) because the carrier has done it before.
- In case you don’t exhaust your allocation for the day or the month, the extra geebess do not roll over to the next day or month. Most plans have that feature, and it would be a pleasant perk for people who want to extend the longevity of their subscriptions. In Telkom’s defense, the kind of people who purchase such a huge amount of data bundles are not your typical users. These people obviously want to get access to data-heavy services and are likely to exhaust their allocations as intended, but if only speeds were consistently admirable, and considering the carrier has good coverage in major towns.
Telkom has a ton of data plans, from Freedom Bundles to Night Shift subscriptions, that make a lot of sense for folks who love working late into the night. Some may argue that Night Shift is a better proposition because it is not throttled (at least that is what we have since gathered since the product was launched a year or so ago).
In sum, Gbambe is a nice addition to a highly competitive data space in Kenya, but as usual, it fails to live to the expectations I had for it, and can only be better if it dropped speed limits and daily caps for a full 30GB allocation to use as a subscriber deems fit.