M-Kopa solar kit sales off to good start
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| Oct. 26, 2012, 8:23 a.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
The recently introduced pay-as-you-go solar kit has taken off to a promising start with 1,000 units sold and 200 more ordered.
M-Kopa, which partnered with Safaricom to introduce the device to promote clean energy use in rural areas, dispelled fears that the asking price would put off potential buyers.
“We are offering a high quality durable product that meets the needs of our clients,” M-Kopa Solar Solutions managing director Jesse Moore said.
M-Kopa also plans to come up with a higher voltage solar panel that would be ideal for its rural-based clients.
Potential customers in Eldoret where the device was launched had expressed reservations about the overall cost and voltage of the device.
“The daily instalment is beyond the reach of many rural households but people are keen on acquiring the solar kit,” said Oliver Maiyo, who bought a unit last week.
Judy Changwony from Uasin Gishu said the voltage of the solar device needed to be improved to enable rural residents use it to run television sets and other electronics.
Buyers are required to pay a deposit of Sh2,500 and later pay Sh40 daily for one year to acquire the kit bringing the overall cost to about Sh17,000. The daily instalments are paid through M-Pesa, Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service.
The solar kit, which has 12 watts voltage, is embedded with the subscribers SIM card to ensure it does not light when the instalment is not paid. When fully charged the kit can last for approximately 12 hours.
The solar powered device targeting rural households intends to replace the use of kerosene whose price is on the rise besides its use being harmful to the environment and human health.
The kit has three bulbs and five mobile charging slots in line with its objective of reducing the cost of charging mobile handsets and lighting rural households.
“The customer can open mobile charging bureaus where they can charge a fee for the service,” said Moore.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Safaricom launches M-PESA SurepaySafaricom has announced a new service that will allow organisations to track funds sent to beneficiaries via its mobile money solution M-PESA. Read More
EcoSure hits 1 million usersIn just two months, Econet’s insurance service, EcoSure, has registered over one million new customers. Read More
Airtel, Visa extend mobile payments to seven countries in AfricaVisa and Bharti Airtel have announced a partnership to bring innovative mobile payment services to seven markets in Africa. Read More
Terragon Group to unveil African-focused Mobile Advertising Technology at MWCNigeria-based Terragon Group is set to unveil its dynamic data monetisation and advertising platform, described as a first for mobile in developing markets, at MWC. Read More
MTN demonstrates the benefits of its video on demand offeringMTN showcased the benefits of FrontRow when it streamed high bandwidth video content onto multiple mobile devices using its video on demand (VOD) offering. Read More
Vodacom, Tigo agree on mobile money interoperabilityMillions of M-Pesa and Tigo Pesa customers in Tanzania will soon be able to send and receive money directly into each other’s wallets. This follows the recent signing of a mobile money interoperability agreement between Tigo and Vodacom. Read More
Airtel Ghana launches DOTGO SMS Web browsing serviceAirtel Ghana has deployed DOTGO’s SMS-based Internet service, which enables any mobile phone to be Internet-accessible without data or Wi-Fi. Read More
MoneyGram reaches 25,000 locations across AfricaMoneyGram has announced an agreement with Safaricom that enables consumers in over 90 countries outside Kenya to send funds directly to nearly 20 million customers of M-PESA. Read More
TrustPay defines new space in cashless payment, commerceTrustPay has officially launched a new range of innovative m/e Commerce merchant solutions it says are set to accelerate economic growth in developing markets. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.