Jamii Telecom Limited (JTL), A telecommunication service provider has stirred up the Kenyan mobile phone market with it’s new low-cost data bundles offer.
The offering will also enable subscribers to make free internet calls, setting the stage for renewed competition in a segment where prices were thought to have hit rock bottom.
Launch of Faiba 4G mobile network marks JTL’s foray out of its fiber internet connectivity forte to face off with established rivals such as Safaricom, Telkom and Airtel.
Jamii’s entry into the voice call market is promising yet another round of cutthroat competition that ensued five years ago when the company launched its low-priced Faiba internet connectivity for homes and offices.
JTL’s 30-day data bundles are priced at Sh1,000 for 25 gigabytes (GB) to Sh6,000 for 210 GB.
That specifically takes the contest to the doorsteps of market leader Safaricom, which charges monthly data bundles at Sh500 for 1GB and Sh3,000 for 12GB.
Airtel, the second largest player in the telecoms market has priced its monthly data bundles at Sh500 for 1GB and Sh2,000 for 4GB while Telkom Kenya offers 1.5GB for Sh499 and 100GB for Sh8,999.
JTL chief executive and chairman Joshua Chepkwony said the firm had entered the mobile telecommunications market after months of building and testing the 4G network – a decision, he reckons, was influenced by the changing trends in consumer preference.
“Mobile devices, especially the mobile phone, have become the dominant channels through which consumers get information. They need to do business or organise their lives on the go and are responding to this reality with efficient and competitively priced services,” he said.
“Our promise to the consumer is that we are bringing to mobile telecommunication the same level of quality and cost competitiveness we are known for in the fibre internet market.”
News that industry regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), had awarded JTL a licence to roll-out 4G mobile phone services met strong opposition from some of the established players.
JTL opponents claimed that unlike its established rivals, who are registered as Tier II service providers, the internet service provider was a Tier 1 firm that needed to pay more than Sh2 billion for an operating licence.
But Mr Chepkwony said his company had followed due process and dismissed the concerns as the product of pure mischief from scared rivals.
Launch of the 4G mobile network has effectively transformed Jamii into Kenya’s fourth mobile telecoms operator with initial 4G network coverage in key cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret.
That means the firm, which debuted in the telecoms market in 2012 with the rollout of low-cost connectivity to homes and small businesses, is fast closing gaps with the industry’s established players.
“Our customers can now enjoy high speed data and clear voice call services anytime and everywhere,” Mr Chepkwony said.
Apart from providing internet connectivity to clients, JTL also hosts data and offers cloud services. It also operates an extensive fibre network covering major counties in Kenya.