NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Every morning, the first thing university student
Amos Katune does after he wakes up is to buy internet bundles
for his phone.
Katune buys data
bundles of between 10 megabyte (MB) and 50MB depending on his
needs and the money he has.
“The small daily
subscription works for me best because it helps me manage my
data usage. Besides, it is pocket friendly since even if I have
only 0.10 U.S. dollars, I am able to buy bundles that can last
me the entire day,” said Katune on Tuesday.
His purchase and
usage of mobile data mirrors that of millions of residents in
the East African nation, where most phone users purchase
internet data bundles in small packages.
The practice has
prompted mobile phone service providers to come up with products
that serve the bottom-segment market amid stagnated incomes and
rising living cost worsened by new taxes.
So huge is the
market that the telecommunication firms are battling to win the
market by coming up with various products that target the low
companies Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom have data bundles that
start from as low as 5MB, which cost 0.05 dollars, enabling
low-income Kenyans to use the internet.
A recent move by two
of the telecoms to withdraw low denomination bundles led to
outcry from consumers, forcing them to reinstate the services.
further make and sell their airtime scratch cards with the
low-income consumer in mind.
The mode of
marketing and selling goods in smaller quantities in the East
African nation is dubbed kadogo economy and is pervasive in all
caters for the small person like me. I earn on average 10
dollars a day from my motorcycle taxi business. I use this money
to cater for all my needs, therefore, I must budget well. On
mobile airtime and internet bundles, I spend at most 0.30
dollars a day,” said David Kinyanjui, a motorbike taxi operator
Kinyanjui noted that
he buys most of the items for use at home in the smaller
packages almost every day, because that is what he can afford.
consumers would buy only internet bundles or airtime for 0.05
dollars but the companies have bettered their experiences,
enabling one to get an array of services from the cash.
For instance, for
0.10 dollars bundle, some of the firms now offer 10MB data, free
SMSs and free usage of WhatsApp the entire day.
Bernard Mwaso, a
consultant with Edell IT Solution in Nairobi, noted that the
upside selling of small data bundles increases usage and access.
“The telecoms are
conforming to consumer habits and as any other manufacturers,
they are aware of Kenyans’ spending habits. The good thing is
that smaller data bundles encourage more usage,” he noted.
The number of
internet users in Kenya stands at more than 30 million with
subscriptions hitting over 20 million, according to the
Communication Authority of Kenya.