Data has become the most sought-after mobile product by the majority of Kenyans in the 2010’s. Since the smartphone revolution began in the late 2000’s, there has been a gradual increase in the demand for data compared to other mobile phone services. This major shift in consumer needs has forced mobile service providers to overhaul their products to reflect the new market reality. Today, in 2017, Kenyans are able to enjoy cheaper data services compared to 2010, for instance. As much as there has been an improvement and a major relief to consumers of data services, there is still much more that needs to be done in order to bring data services to a point where they are accessible to everyone. The following is a quick look at specific data bundles that have caught my attention in 2017. These bundles are, in my opinion, some of the best options for Home Use we have seen in the market so far. I am working on another article where I will highlight the best options for Personal Mobile Use.
Safaricom is the most expensive mobile service provider in the market. The company has a reputation of giving their products a ‘premium’ price tag. Some loyal customers would say that that price matches the quality of the products offered. Most clients, regardless, often accuse the company of fleecing them. Despite that, the company is the most preferred service provider in the market. Safaricom has two main products that seem reasonable for Home Internet users.
1. Safaricom Easy Data Bundles
Safaricom says that these bundles are designed for SME’s. I personally think that they are perfect for Home Use. The two options; Easy 30 and Easy 50, offer the best value for money compared to anything you get at *544# or even *555#.
At Ksh. 6,000 for 50GB and (especially) Ksh. 3,500 for 30GB, I have to say that these two bundles are some of the most valuable I have seen from this company. The icing on the cake is that the bundles are ‘unlimited’, sort of, as you get to browse at reduced speeds even after the bundles are depleted until the duration of the bundles is over (45 days and 30 days respectively).
Most people might not know about these bundles because Safaricom is, for some peculiar reason, quite meek at promoting some of their data bundles. Most people in the market probably do not know about Showmax bundles, Netflix bundles, BigBox bundles and a plethora of other ‘secret’ bundles that are never pushed aggressively enough to the wider market. The Easy bundles are, however, the best I’ve seen.
2. Safaricom Download Options
Whether you are downloading movies, games, big files or any other data-intensive items on the internet, there is no secret that you need a data plan that is not based on volume. That is why I highly laud Safaricom’s decision to continue providing users with the option to browse the internet with a time-based subscription. I am talking about the Browse @ 2 bob service. I have noticed that not many people know about this service nor understand how it works. In short, it means that you browse at Ksh. 60 every 30 minutes and Ksh. 120 every hour. At a time when 4G internet is accessible in most areas of the country, you get download speeds of about 7MB/s. This translates to about 480MB every minute and north of 20GB every hour. 20GB for Ksh. 120 is very fair if you ask me. The only catch, of course, is that you really need to be a bit technical in order to use this service effectively. You need to:
i. Have a good 4G smartphone, modem or router.
ii. Be subscribed to Browse at 2 service only (No daily, monthly or other volume-based bundles). I prefer to have a separate line that is always subscribed to this service.
iii. Know good websites where you can download what you need.
iv. Have a good Download Manager.
I have personally used the service for a long time and you can see the evidence of my usage from the screenshots below.
I have had an up-and-down relationship with Orange/Telkom over the years. Back in 2011, Orange had a daily, weekly, and monthly unlimited offer that cost Ksh. 49, Ksh. 249 and Ksh. 2990 respectively and I enjoyed the services. This offer, in fact, lasted till sometime in late 2015 when they decided to scrap it. They replaced the offer with 400MB daily, 2GB weekly and 30GB monthly deals at the same price. I have to admit that it was (and still is) the most affordable mobile data product by far. In 2017, the Telkom Relaunch introduced the Home Plans.
Telkom Home Plans
With Telkom Home Plans, you get weekly, monthly and 90 days options. Weekly options include 3GB for Ksh. 499 and 10GB for Ksh. 999. The monthly options have been specifically attractive to me and they include 5GB for Ksh. 999, 10GB for Ksh. 1,499, 20GB for Ksh. 1,999 and an Unlimited option at Ksh. 3,999. There is one 90-day bundle at 100GB for Ksh. 5,999.
Telkom is without a doubt the best service provider if you are looking for overall value for money. The company only needs to fix their often weak network and they will be good to go.
Airtel is at the bottom of my list for two main reasons – unreliability and haphazard change of terms. The company has been shaky and inconsistent for the longest time. I have to admit that I could be biased against this company based on my personal experience because I definitely have many friends who swear by Airtel’s name. The company had an unlimited offer back in 2012 which I truly enjoyed. Since then, the company has offered ‘Unliminet’ internet, which was secretly scrapped recently in an upheaval fashion to the disaffection of many. As of now, Airtel has a couple of bundles that could be attractive to Home Internet users.