Last year, Safaricom introduced the cheapest way to acquire a 4G device in the country. Through its ‘Lipa Mdogo Mdogo‘ campaign, Kenyans can acquire a smartphone by paying as little as KES 20 a day.
According to Business Daily, between 28th July 2020 and end of March 2021, Safaricom has sold 4G phones to about 250,000 Kenyans. That translates to just over 1000 customers a day, everyday, during that period.
The launch of the ‘Lipa Mdogo Mdogo’ campaign came after we learnt that Safaricom had sold close to 1 Million units of its Neon-branded Smartphones. The company was now bringing in a new “Neon Ray PRO” smartphone to be under the new financing plan.
While for may this seemed like a move to get even more customers to the network, Safaricom explained their main reason was to ensure they transition as many of their users from the 2G Spectrum to the 4G spectrum.
At that time, there was about 77% 4G coverage in the country, but only 17% penetration in terms of 4G devices. Safaricom was aiming at getting full 4G coverage across the country, and then transitioning its whole customer base to using 4G.
According to Safaricom, the Lipa Mdogo Mdogo campaign has been successful with over 60% upgrading from 2G and 3G to 4G, representing a year-on-year growth of 39.8 percent in 4G devices.
This growth is partly responsible for the 31.1% increase in number of customers using more than 1GB of data.
While Lipa Mdogo Mdogo has seemingly been successful, Safaricom is yet to launch a full-on device financing plan where customers can pick from a wide variety of smartphones, with monthly repayments that include data and minutes. Something like this has already been teased and promised to be coming when the company revamped its Post Pay plans. Perhaps we will see it go live soon?
Currently though, the company is focusing on restructuring itself, building around its success story – M-Pesa, and hopefully realising its promised dream of 250 5G sites by the end of the year.