Telkom Kenya hits back with double capacity modem
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
The battle for Kenya’s mobile data market is raging as operators fight to outwit each other on wooing customers.
Barely two months after Airtel slashed her modem prices to woo customers, Telkom Kenya has hit back with a high capacity modem.
The operator has doubled its modem capacity with the introduction of 42 mega bits per second (mbps) devices into the Kenyan market.
Telkom Kenya’s move seeks to increase its data market share that has grown to 9.5 per cent. The new modems are priced at USD120 and will initially serve select areas of Nairobi before the network is rolled out to other parts of the country.
“The company’s decision to invest in data is now paying off and the scaling up of our network is part of our aggressive campaign of capturing a larger data market share,” said Mickael Ghossein, the Telkom Kenya CEO.
The 42Mbps network covers Westlands and the Nairobi Central Business District.
In late June 2012 Airtel slashed price of its modem by over half to grab more Internet users from rivals.
Airtel is now retailing its 21 megabytes per second Mbs modem at USD23 down from USD53, while the 7.2Mbs modems is retailing at USD12, a 50% drop.
Currently Airtel is placed third in the mobile data sector, after Safaricom and YuMobile, with a 10 per cent market share as of December 2011.
Safaricom, whose mobile data market share as of December 2011 stood at 77.1%, has a 7.2Mbs modem going for USD23.
Its 21Mbs modem, on the other hand, costs Ksh9, 999 (USD118) and comes bundled with 20 gigabytes of data.
Fourth-placed Telkom Kenya is selling its 3G+ 3.1Mbs modem retailing for USD47 while its 21Mbs device is going for USD23.