Small and Medium Enterprises in Eldoret are set to benefit from high speed affordable internet connectivity from as low as Shs 5,000 per month.
This is after Safaricom, through its Enterprise Business Division, kicked off its second phase of fibre optic network rollout.
The rollout follows successful deployment of fibre in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa with the current focus now on other major towns in the country.
Fiber technology provides unlimited bandwidth capabilities and offers the fastest high-speed data connectivity.
Businesses that sign up by 31st of December will get one month free connectivity.
Speaking during the launch of the second phase in Eldoret town Safaricom’s Head of Enterprise Product and Innovation, Geoffrey Wandeto said that the network would offer businesses connectivity at affordable and flexible rates, enabling them to grow and thrive.
“Safaricom wants to offer a solution that will open up businesses into a new digital world. It is our hope that we will be your partner in this space,” said Mr Wandetto.
The move which is part of Safaricom’s continuing strategy to be a leader in broadband provision aims to connect every part of the country in the coming years to deliver quality service to customers.
Earlier in the year, Safaricom launched Ready Business, a business solution aimed at making SMEs’ operations easier. The ‘Ready Business’ solution bundles together various technology and advisory services to empower entrepreneurs tackle challenges of a rapidly changing business landscape.
Safaricom Enterprise offers a variety of communication and connectivity services to its customers across Kenya. Key among these services is internet connections and telephone landlines. These services can in turn be delivered via different technologies like Fiber Optic cables as well as wireless technologies like microwaves, WiMax & Satellites.
Society of Grownups, a financial advice firm in the US, has conducted a survey that answers how grownups are planning financially for their goals today.
The great revelation from the survey was that a good number of grownups (representing 35% of those polled) still depend on their parents for upkeep beyond college.
While the survey was targeted at Americans, the results seem to reflect on the financial trends witnessed among young growups in developed and developing nations across the world.
According to the research which was conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, most of grownups are seen to be going back to school, getting married, planning to pay off student debt, and they eventually want to buy houses and consider having kids. And those are in addition to other big goals, like taking a trip, pursuing freelance work, and purchasing a car.
In Kenya, like the world over, most parents especially those who are financially stable are seen to play a major role in the lives of their children beyond basic education. Paying for higher education and even expensive weddings for their children is not uncommon.
The research explains this trend as a necessary evil that is a as result of the Great Recession. Even grownups with families are also dipping into the pockets of their parents which means that the arrangement can last for decades. Companies such as Society of Grownups, based on the research are willing to provide education and tools to help individuals become independent.
The good news is that this group is willing to pay it forward, to the benefit of younger generations.
In case you are wondering about the classification of generations, the following table is precise-:
born (range, loosely)
characterizing features typically described (loosely)
The Lost Generation
The term reflects the unthinkable loss of human life in the First World War- approaching 16 million killed and over 20 million wounded. This happened in just four and five years (1914-1918). We cannot imagine this today.
The Interbellum Generation
Interbellum means ‘between wars’, referring to the fact that these people were too young to fight in the First World War and too old to fight in the Second.
The Greatest Generation (The Veterans)
These people are revered for having grown up during the Great Depression and then fought or stood alongside those who fought in the Second World War (1939-45). As for other generations of the early 1900s, life was truly hard compared to later times.
The Silent Generation
Characterized as fatalistic, accepting, having modest career and family aspirations, focused on security and safety. These people experienced the 1930s Great Depression and/or the 2nd World War in early life, and post-war austerity in young adulthood. They parented and provided a foundation for the easier lives of the Baby Boomers.
Equality, freedom, civil rights, environmental concern, peace, optimism, challenge to authority, protest. Baby Boomers mostly lived safe from war and serious hardship; grew up mostly in families, and enjoyed economic prosperity more often than not. Teenage/young adulthood years 1960-1980 – fashion and music: fun, happy, cheery, sexy, colourful, lively.
Acquisitive, ambitious, achievement-oriented, cynical, materialistic (a reference to the expression ‘keeping up with the Joneses’). Generation Jones is predominantly a US concept, overlapping and representing a sub-group within the Baby Boomer and Gen-X generations.
Generation X (Gen-X)
Apathy, anarchy, reactionism, detachment, technophile, resentful, nomadic, struggling. Teenage/young adulthood years 1973-2000 – fashion and music: anarchic, bold, anti-establishment.
MTV Generation is a lesser-used term for a group overlapping X and Y. Like Generation Jones is to Baby Boomers and Gen-X, so MTV Generation is a bridge between Gen-X and Y.
Generation Y (Gen-Y or Millennials)
1980-2000 and beyond (?)
Views vary as to when this range ends, basically because no-one knows. Generational categories tend to become established some years after the birth range has ended. Teenage/young adulthood years 1990s and the noughties – fashion and music: mainstream rather than niche, swarmingly popular effects, fuelled by social networking and referral technology. Also called Echo Boomers because this generation is of similar size to the Baby Boomers.
Generation Z (Gen-Z or perhaps Generation ADD)
Too soon to say much about this group. A name has yet to become established, let alone characterizing features. Generation Z is a logical name in the X-Y-sequence. Generation ADD is less likely to establish itself as a name for this cohort – it refers ironically to Attention Deficit Disorder and the supposed inability of young people in the late noughties (say 2005-2009) to be able to concentrate for longer than a few seconds on anything. Gen-Z is difficult to differentiate from Gen-Y, mainly because (as at 2009) it’s a little too soon to be seeing how people born after Gen-Y are actually behaving, unless the end of the Gen-Y range is deemed to be a few years earlier than the year 2000. Time will tell.
Source: Generations nicknames and groupings theory (businessballs.com)
Liquid Telecom, the pan-African fibre operator, has announced the launch of Hai, its new home and business internet brand for Africa.
Hai will offer Internet access to households and SMEs, with options for WiMax and Fibre connections depending on location.
Hai, which means “I am alive” in Swahili, will serve homes and SMEs with its packages carrying a variety of value-added services, including video-on-demand ipidi tv.
The products web portal (Hai.co.ke) provides options for home and business users who can are guided through a 6 step process that begins with confirming location and end with payment confirmation.
Some of the packages on offer include but are not limited to Hai-Waya 10 (Fibre) that offers up to 10 mbps download and upload speeds for KES 3,499 (Inc. VAT) and Hai-Max (WiMax) that offers up to 2 mbps download and upload speeds for KES 2,499 (Inc. VAT).
Wimax end users are given the option to purchase the CPE by paying an amount totaling to Kshs 30,0o0 exclusive of tax to Liquid or lease by paying an amount totaling to Kshs1, 500 per month.
By combining both WiMax and Fibre internet connections, Liquid Telecom has ensured that every location in Nairobi and its surrounding areas is covered.
Liquid Telecom Kenya launches Hai for Home and Business Internet
Residents of Kiambu County in Kenya will in coming weeks enjoy free, fast and reliable public Wi-Fi connections, following a partnership with Africa’s leading data, voice and IP provider, Liquid Telecom Kenya. The delivery of free street Wi-Fi zones in Kiambu will enable rapid access to information vital for economic and educational development in the county.
The high capacity Wi-Fi networks in Kiambu County cover a 5km radius from the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of each of the county’s four largest towns, with a capacity of 10 Megabytes per second(Mbps). The county government has decided on the first four hotspots, in each of the towns, to be at the bus stage, main hospital, main market and the county government headquarters.
Kiambu County Governor William Kabogo explained that the Wi-Fi hotspots will help county residents get access to the information required for services such as applications for business permitsamong other services.
“The Wi-Fi initiative is driven by the county’s mission to better use technology to improve service delivery for all Kiambu County residents,” said the governor.
Kiambu County ICT Director Douglas Njiraini said the Kiambu Wi-Fi connection will be rolled out in phases, with the first phase being installations in Thika, Kikuyu, Ruiru and Kiambu towns.
“It is not just people in hospitals that will have access to the internet, but businesses and offices around the point of connections will also benefit. These locations were chosen because they have the highest number of human traffic, highest concentration of businesses and offices, and thus they are expected to have the most impact,” he said.
The first of the new Wi-Fi installations will be at Thika bus stop and the level 5 hospital; at the Ruiru sub-county hospital and bus stop; in Kiambu town, near Kiambu hospital; and in Kikuyu; at the sub county offices, main stage, market and at Alliance bus stop to serve the main Kikuyu Mission Hospital, two universities, one college and 15 schools.
The rest of the county’s remaining sub-counties, Limuru, Kabete Lari, Gatundu South, Gatundu North, Githunguri, Kiambaa, and Juja, will be connected in the second phase.
Njiraini explained that the Wi-Fi hotspots will help county residents get access to the information required for services such as applications for business permits, with the Wi-Fi initiative driven by the county’s mission to better use technology to improve service delivery.
“The aim of this project is to promote the use of ICT among the people of Kiambu, encourage innovation, and bring services closer to the people, by improving service delivery through the Digitika Portal,” he said.
The Digitika Portal enables residents to log in and request services from the county as well as make online payments using MPESA, Airtel Money, Visa or MasterCard.
The Head of Government Affairs at Liquid Telecom Kenya, William Oungo, said affordable internet access should be seen as a basic need , necessary for the public to access information, adding that unemployed youths are locked out of accessing the internet because of lack of disposable income to purchase data bundles.
The free hotspots now being set up in Kiambu are using the same technology as has been deployed in Nakuru for the Bilawaya project, initiated by the President’s Office and implemented in partnership with Nakuru county and Liquid Telecom Kenya.
The Bilawaya project won the ‘Best Wi-Fi Deployment to Connect the Unconnected in Rural Environment’ award during the World Wi-Fi Day Awards held in Liverpool, in England, last month.
With high capacity free Wi-Fi in the county, there is expected to be an increased uptake of e-learning by colleges and universities within Kiambu. Youths will, in addition, be able to seek employment, venture into economic activities such as e-commerce, as well as access many services offered by both national and county governments that can provide them with incomes. Residents will also be empowered to participate in the formulation of policies.
Research shows there is a direct correlation between internet access and economic growth, with World Bank statistics showing that a 10 per cent increase in Internet access results in approximately 1 per cent of extra growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year.
Internet access has been widely tipped to be the key differentiator in Kenya’s economic performance, creating at least 1,000 jobs a month in the business process outsourcing sector since 2013, according to the ICT Authority of Kenya.
“Free Wi-Fi is a facility that is gaining traction globally. And it is time for Kenya to be on the same level of technological advancement as other countries in the world. It is for this reason that we at Liquid Telecom Kenya are committed to ensuring every Kenyan has access to the Internet as we aim to provide free Wi-Fi across all towns in the country,” said Oungo.
Safaricom in partnership with Craft Silicon, has launched Little Cab, a Kenyan taxi hailing solution to provide convenient and affordable cab services to customers.
The launch comes after Easy Taxi exited the market following a decision by Goldman Sachs to drop it in favor of Uber where they have invested US$ 1.9 Billion since the start of 2015.
Little Cabs will now join a long list of taxi services that are currently jostling for market share. Uber is the leading on-demand taxi service in Kenya. Other players in the market include Pewin Cabs, Dandia and Mara Moja. Mondo ride and Sendy have also joined the market recently.
According to Safaricom, the App is a homegrown, reliable and cost-effective Kenyan innovation that provides unrivaled experiences to customers by giving them more value for their money as they seek transport solutions.
“Our partnership with Craft Silicon is a demonstration of benefits of businesses coming together to address challenges facing our customers. We believe that Little Cab will provide better passenger experiences by connecting them with more reliable, cost effective options,” – Safaricom, CEO Bob Collymore
Little Cab will charge passengers Sh55 per kilometre and Sh4 per minute – with no flat base charge or price surges during peak hours or heavy traffic jams.
Safaricom also intends to enable clients to pay the fare using their subscriber loyalty reward, Bonga Points.
The available payment options for cab fare will include Safaricom’s own Mpesa, Visa and MasterCard branded bank cards.
Little Cab will also provide an incentive to woo women passengers by offering a female drivers only service.
How does Little Cab match up to its competitors?
Charge per kilometre
Charge per minute
No flat base charge or price surges during peak hours or heavy traffic jams.
Vivek Investments Ltd today announced the launch of a new, Kenyan manufactured range of premium home cleaning products, under the Ezee brand, in a challenge to the market dominance of international brands in the Kenyan market.
According to a 2016 Euromonitor International report, international brands continue to lead Kenya’s home care products market, with most of the products imported, despite the country’s heavy trade imbalance, which has put pressure on the country’s currency, inflation, interest rates, and unemployment.
“Importing goods is a simple case of exporting jobs, making the rise of manufacturing in Kenya central to our future as a middle income nation, and to tackling our now severe unemployment,” said Mr Chintan Thacker, Vivek Group Managing Director.
Vivek, which has been named by KPMG as one of Kenya’s Top 100 small and mid sized companies in both of the last two years based on its pace of manufacturing growth, has already built a strong base in contract manufacturing, and in areas such as pharmaceutical products. But the launch of its own Ezee brand marks a new bid by the company to assert the position of homegrown Kenyan brands in local growth markets.
The Ezee brand spans a full range of cleaning products of a higher quality than most of the existing competitor products, and spanning dishwashing liquid and paste, toilet cleaner, scouring powder, bleach and all purpose washing liquid. The range has been launched at a lower price than its competitors, but is offering more concentrated products, meaning they will clean more and last longer.
The range is also dominated by liquid cleaning products, which are rapidly gaining ground in the local market. “Liquid detergents are more versatile and multipurpose, in that they can be used for all sorts of tasks, across washing dishes, clothes, floors, windows, cars, and almost all other uses,” said Mr Thacker.
Ten supermarket chains have already signed up to stock the new, locally manufactured Ezee products.
The lower price point is expected to be a welcome relief to consumers, with the 2014 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showing rising producer prices for chemical products as a result of increased prices for soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations.
“We’ll be targeting distributors, wholesalers and retailers for the Ezee brand, as well as supermarkets,” said Mr Chintan. The manufacturer will also be offering consumers complimentary gifts with some of the Ezee products, which have all been pretested and proven to be the best for the market.
All of the product range is being manufactured in Nairobi from the Vivek’s award winning manufacturing operation on Mombasa Road. “Our manufacturing plant employs world class quality control systems that won us the Company of The Year Award in 2015 for productivity and quality by the Kenya Institute of Management,” said MrChintan. As part of these quality control processes, Vivek retains one of every batch of product it manufactures, which is kept until after it’s expiry date, so that the manufacturer can continue to be sure of its continuing quality.
“Launching Ezee is the realization of years of preparation and development within Vivek, creating new local jobs, and fulfilling the next step in our vision of expanding and promoting manufacturing in Kenya as our nation’s next level of development,” said MrChintan.
Safaricom, a leading communications company in Kenya has launched a personalised self care application for its mobile subscribers to be available on Android and iOS.
The application that is dubbed mySafaricom takes the company a mile ahead of its competitors when it comes to customer service. For mobile subscribers, the application is a handy tool that provides analytic, self care and a personalised dashboard to manage their account.
In a nut shell, the application allows mobile subscribers to access the following services -:
Show Account Balances; Airtime, Data, SMS
Topup: Recharge with a Voucher
Bonga Services; Enrolment, Balance, Transfer, Redemption, History
Data & SMS Plans – View and Purchase bundles
Store Locator – Near Me
Charged SMS Services – VIew and Manage
Skiza Services – View and manage tones
My Profile; IMEI, PUK
Request for M-PESA Statement
Feedback and Rating Service
Contact us: Twitter, Facebook, Live chat
USSD codes such *144# (To check balance) are likely to be a thing of the past for users who are always connected to the internet, the mySafaricom app will be a treasure.
A nice touch is the fact that you can access and email yourself M-Pesa statements that date back a year. Alternatively, you can also choose to have a statement sent to your email of choice every month on the 5th.
The application does require an internet connection which is probably a downside since the alternative should allow users to access information through SIM connection without the need for data bundles.
Safaricom expects to reduce the number of calls to their customer care by providing access to a knowledge base that will allow customers to trouble shoot and get started on basic tasks.
Needless to say, the application is a must have for every Safaricom customer with need for efficient and speedy access to their account.
Safaricom users can download the application using the following links.
Vodacom will discontinue its M-Pesa product in South Africa with effect from 30 June 2016.
Speaking about the decision, Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Chief Executive Officer, says: “Vodacom’s decision is based on the fact that the business sustainability of M-Pesa is predicated on achieving a critical mass of users. Based on our revised projections and high levels of financial inclusion in South Africa there is little prospect of the M-Pesa product achieving this in its current format in the mid-term.”
In other markets where financial inclusion is limited and where there is a more supportive macro environment, M-Pesa continues to gain solid traction based on exponential growth in customer acquisition. Kenya and Tanzania are prime examples of this. It is important to note that this decision does not affect M-Pesa customers in Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and the DRC, where the product continues to grow exponentially.
With regard to customers, Joosub says: “Vodacom is fully committed to mitigating any inconvenience to customers impacted by the decision and assures all M-Pesa South Africa customers that their funds remain safe and readily accessible. We remain of the opinion that opportunities exist in the Financial Services environment and we will continue to explore these.”