Safaricom introduces Internet bundle purchases using scratchcards


Kenya’s mobile service provider Safaricom has introduced a new service that will allow its customers to purchase data bundles using Scratch cards

Safaricom says it has introduced a wide range of  scratch cards that will now retail in various shops with data bundles and expiry duration.

The new 4MB, 8MB and 16MB will be active for one week. The 4MB scratchcard will cost KSh5 (US$0.06) while the 8MB and 16MB scratchcards will cost KSh10 (0.12) and KSh20 (US$0.24) respectively. The 50,100,250 and 500MB data bundles will last for 30 days retailing at KSh 50 (US$0.60), KSh100 (US$1.19), KSh250 (US$2.98) and KSH500 (US$5.96).

I.5GB data bundle will costs KSh 1000 (US$11.92) with an expiry duration of 30 days.

Users can purchase the bundles by dialing *544*, entering the 16 digits PIN, the hash sign (#) and pressing the "Ok" button in that order.

Also, users can buy data bundles for a third party by dialling *544*, entering the other user’s cellphone number, the hash sign and then pressing the "Ok" button.

Safaricom as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) faces stiff competition from other providers including Airtel, Yu and Orange.

The Communication Commission of Kenya’s (CCK) April 2012 report indicates an increase in mobile service subscription. In the last financial year, 89.10 percent of the population in the country had access to the services compared to 84.5 percent in the previous year.

An estimated 16 million people use Internet services, an increase of 13.20 percent from 86.62 percent which CCK attributes to high Internet subscriptions on General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), Enhanced Data for Global Evolution (EDGE) and 3rd Generation of Cellphone technology(3G).