Equitel partners with Itel to introduce two low cost phones in Kenya
By Victor Magunamu, Kenya
Equitel has introduced two Itel brands, targeting the low end feature phone and smart phone markets in Kenya.
The two handsets are the Itel T 2150, a feature phone dubbed Kasmarta, and Itel A-15 smart phone, dubbed Smarta plus, retailing at Sh1,499 and Ksh6,999 respectively.
Users can buy these two types of phones via Equitel mobile phone loans, even as the telecommunication arm of Equity Bank pushes to offer users flexibility. The phone is retailing the devices at Equity Bank branches.
Equitel, which had 1.95 million users as at June 2018, has further rolled out a music download service called Bonyeza, enabling all users to download their favorite songs on their phone by dialing *699#. The service will be available for a premium rate of Sh10 per download.
The partnership is expected to help Itel reach untapped mobile phone mass especially in rural Kenya while marketing Equitel communication network and mobile loans in the country that boasts of high mobile device and services penetration.
Third quarter report released the Communication Authority (CA) in July shows that the number of mobile subscriptions grew by 3.0 percent to stand at 44.1 million from 42.8 million subscriptions reported during the second quarter. As a result, the mobile penetration level rose to 95.1 per cent from 94.3 per cent.
Launched in July 2015, Equitel was the first platform in Kenya to combine mobile and banking services to give Kenyans more freedom, choice and control when managing money and staying in touch with their loved ones.
Safaricom however is still the leading mobile network in Kenya, controlling 67 per cent followed by Airtel and Telkom. Equitel though with strong mobile money base is the least network in the country.
CA’s data shows that Equitel processed 87.9 million mobile commerce transactions between April 2018 and June 2018, up from 77.6 million transactions in the preceding quarter, representing a 13 per cent increase.
At the same time the value of mobile commerce transactions increased to Sh328.2 billion, a 13 per cent increase from Sh290.3 billion that was processed over the same period.