Safaricom, Google kick-start low cost 4G smartphone loan offer

safaricom-lipa-mdogo-mdogo tech metro africa

In efforts to ramp up data revenues, Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecoms operator has partnered with Google to offer millions of affordable smartphones on loan.

Safaricom will kick off the sale of smartphones on credit to its subscribers who will make daily payments of as little as Sh20  ($0,19) a day for up to a year.

The telco is aiming to boost its data business to offset sluggish growth in mobile calls.

Small revenue growth due to saturation has forced the company to turn to its mobile money platform M-Pesa and internet to power future growth.

Commenting on the developments, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa said, “The cost of devices should no longer be an impediment. We are launching an innovative device financing plan dubbed Lipa Mdogo Mdogo that will give customers still using feature phones an opportunity to own a 4G- enabled device by paying only Sh20 a day,”

Safaricom seeks to eventually convert about 4 million 2G and 3G-enabled phones to 4G as the loan offer will be available for all phones, though daily repayments would increase should subscribers go for high value smartphones.

Data is one of the firm’s fastest growing revenue lines and it hopes that increased smart phone usage will boost it further.

Revenue from mobile data, where Safaricom has been aggressively fighting for market share by offering internet bundles without expiry, rose 12.1 percent to Sh40.7 billion  ($378 million), after recording 21 percent growth in the second half ended March.