Jamii shakes up internet market with speeds deal

Jamii Telecom chairman Joshua Chepkwoni. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Jamii Telecom chairman Joshua Chepkwoni. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Jamii Telecom has launched its most aggressive shake-up of the internet market with a five-fold increase in speeds for home and business customers without a change in pricing.

Jamii, whose internet service is popularly known as Faiba, says in a notice to its customers that it has increased bandwidth for its lowest home internet offer six times to 30 megabits per second (Mbps) up from 5Mbps even as it maintains the price at Sh5,000 per month.

Subscribers to Jamii’s fastest band of 20Mbps that is currently priced at Sh20,000 a month will now enjoy speeds of 125Mbps at the same cost.

Jamii has also increased fibre internet speeds for business clients who will now enjoy speeds of 15Mbps for a price of Sh10,000 per month for the cheapest offer that has been set at 3Mbps.

Joshua Chepkwony, the company’s chairman, said the increased speeds are meant to improve customer experience and affirm Jamii’s position as a leader in the fibre internet market.  

“We are overhauling our packages because we feel that Kenya is ripe for high-speed internet. We are increasing the speeds and maintaining the prices as a way of passing the benefits of our upgraded infrastructure capacity to consumers,” he said adding that Jamii was just repositioning itself in the market and reassuring customers of quality service.

Jamii fibre network has more than 110,000 home and business buildings passes in major towns, including Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Thika, Naivasha, Nyeri, Kitale, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Meru, Embu, Kisii, Kericho,  Voi, Kisumu and Nakuru. Jamii’s new bandwidths are meant to attract new consumers and lock in existing ones in the wake of increased competition in the home internet with the entry of new providers.

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM, through its home internet business, and Surf Kenya by Internet Solution Kenya are the latest entrants in this market that was previously dominated by Jamii Telecom’s Faiba, Zuku, Telkom Kenya and Liquid Telecom.

Liquid Telecom said it was exploring the possibility of increasing its bandwidth to keep up with increasing demands for internet at home while Surf Kenya said it was exploring untapped markets within Nairobi.

“Liquid Telecom has connected 3,000 homes, but our current reach is 6,000 homes. We are working to increase bandwidth to grow our reach”, the company’s chief commercial officer, Paul Statham, said. Demand for higher broadband speeds has been rising, according to the Communications Authority latest market report.

The report indicates that there were 120,000 subscriptions for internet speeds of more than 2Mbps in the first quarter of the year. Only 35,000 subscriptions were captured for below 2Mbps.

“As witnessed during the quarter under review, broadband speeds of more than 2Mbps recorded the highest number of subscriptions while those greater than or equal to 256Kbps recorded the least.”

The uptake of on-demand video entertainment channels like America’s Netflix and Showmax and iFlix and the growing number of people working from home are some of the factors driving the uptake of home internet products.