It’s official: Facebook just upped the competition in Kenya with their low-cost solution to WiFi services. The social media giant, partnering with Surf, has already launched similar services in Uganda, Nigeria, and India, making Kenya the fourth region to get access to cheap and accessible Internet services.
The service has been live for over a month now and Telcos, the current Internet giant in the area, is feeling the pinch on their customer base partly due to the introductory 10-day offer that allows users to access 100MB of free services. Plans start as low as Sh10 for 40MB and go up accordingly. In comparison, other providers start their plans at much higher rates. For example, Safaricom starts with Sh50 for 65MB while Airtel and Orange offer 50MB and 400MB, respectively, for the same amount.
Facebook posted a statement about the joint venture saying, “Express WiFi empowers local entrepreneurs to help provide quality Internet access to their neighbors and make a steady income. Working with local internet service providers or mobile operators, they can use software provided by Facebook to connect their communities.” Excited to offer fast and reliable internet services to countries that are facing stiff prices, Facebook’s stance is “When people can purchase fast, affordable and reliable Internet, they’re able to explore the range of information it has to offer including news, education, health, job postings, entertainment, and communication tools like Facebook.”
For now, customers are jumping on the bandwagon to see just how much data they can get for their money, while still having access to all of their favorite sites and media outlets. As WiFi Express continues to grow, it’s expected that Facebook will continue to branch out even further across Africa.