Safaricom partners with Google to bring ultra-cheap 4G smartphone access to East Africa

Published: 29 July 2020 - midnight

Kenyan mobile network operator, Safaricom, has teamed up with Google to bring low cost 4G handsets to millions of customers in East Africa.

Safaricom will provide qualifying customers easier access to the internet through the Neon Ray Pro, a 4G Android (Go edition) smartphone, for as little as 20 Kenyan Schillings ($0.18) per day.

Safaricom’s ‘Lipa Mdogo Mdogo’ initiative, in partnership with Google’s operating system partner Android, will allow customers to access 4G internet services through a smartphone that they can pay-as-they-use on a daily or weekly basis.

“We are delighted today to launch this product in line with our pillar of customer-centricity. Today, everyone is going through tough economic times. This product comes as a testament to our commitment to our purpose of transforming lives. Smartphones in the hands of our customers, possess life-transforming possibilities. They open a new world. We aim to take that world into the hands of every consumer through affordable means,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.

The move is a key development in the ongoing push to raise smartphone access in sub-Saharan Africa, as telcos look to make a range of online smart solutions available in the region. Safaricom hopes that the scheme will incentivise customers who are currently on 2G plans to upgrade to 4G services.

“Android’s goal has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone. Access to the opportunities the internet offers is critical for any nations’ economic growth & social inclusion. We believe that this collaboration will bring more Kenyans online and help them take advantage of the opportunities that exist online,” said Mariam Abdullahi, director, Android and Platforms Partnerships for Africa

Later this year, CommsMEA and the ITP Tech Division will host their first Digital Africa Summit. The online event will explore the plethora of challenges and opportunities for operators and vendors looking to bring life changing connectivity and services to over a billion people. The online event will span three days and will include insights from all of Africa’s key connectivity players.

For speaking opportunities, please contact Chris Kelly, Editor of CommsMEA at chris.kelly@itp.com.

For commercial opportunities, including sponsorship and marketing packages, please contact Thomas Lambert, Sales Manager for the ITP Tech Group at Thomas.Lambert@itp.com.

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