Zain Kenya’s new flexible Internet bundles.

In an earlier post on this blog a couple of months ago, I had expressed my dissatisfaction that all the mobile operators in Kenya seemed to be launching “me too” Internet services in the marketplace which had almost identical features and lacked creativity that was market-driven. Therefore, it came as a pleasant surprise this past week when Zain Kenya launched some new and highly flexible unlimited and limited usage Internet bundles that buck this trend.

If this is a precursor to some of the changes we can expect when Bharti Airtel’s US$ 10.7 Billion acquisition of Zain Africa takes full effect then we are already seeing some creativity that could tip market share balances as they stand today. To note though is that Zain Kenya still does not have a 3G service in place and therefore they only offer speeds within GPRS and EDGE (collectively known as 2.5G).

The reason why Zain Kenya, Orange Kenya and YU mobile networks do NOT yet have 3G unlike Safaricom is that none of them are willing pay the exhorbitant US$ 25 Million that is required to secure a 3G license from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK). This has become a major bone of contention in the rapid proliferation of broadband Internet connectivity throughout Kenya as CCK has so far refused to lower it since Safaricom made the payment a few year ago – only time will tell how this pans out.

Below are the new Zain Kenya internet bundle rates as published in Kenyan media:

Unlimited Prepaid Internet Bundles.

  • Unlimited 1 day @ Kes. 250.00
  • Unlimited 10 days @ Kes. 1,250.00
  • Unlimited 20 days @ Kes. 2,250.00
  • Unlimited 30 days @ 3,250.00

Prepaid Internet Bundles.

  • 25 MB @ Kes. 100.00
  • 70 MB @ Kes. 250.00
  • 150 MB @ Kes. 500.00
  • 500 MB @ Kes. 1,250.00
  • 1 GB @ Kes. 1,750

In addition to the above bundle rates, the pay as you go Internet usage rate is Kes. 7.00 per megabyte. Finally, the modem cost is still Kes. 2,010.00 as announced late last year and comes with 150 MB of data free usage.

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  1. April 25, 2010 at 10:33 am — Reply

    Wow, have been wondering about the non-availibility of 3G // on Sufcon only. 25 US$ million are crazy, even though the same licences were sold for much more in .DE some years ago.
    As a comparison (not that it matters, but still): unlimited 3G via USB modem is ~ 20 – 25 EUR in Germany atm (3,6, often up to 7,2).

    I know quite a few GoK institutions that wd be very well served with such an EDGE connection only (upcountry).

    The “3G+” on orange is EVDO only, ama?

  2. zac
    April 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm — Reply

    Hasnt the unlimited internet packages been existin since end of last year?

  3. April 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Like Zac, I have seen their ads for the same rates some time back, bout six months ago or more.


    • April 27, 2010 at 5:43 am — Reply

      Just did some fact finding. Seems that they had indeed launched the bundles sometime back. I guess I just did’nt know about them yet! Thanks for the correction.

      • qui
        April 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm — Reply

        I have just loaded Ksh 1000 to subscribe for the unlimited one month data bundle offered by yu,but what i got was 15days,is yu misleading users.I have no problem with the speed, it works perfectly for me.

  4. rufinus
    May 1, 2010 at 7:28 am — Reply

    its not worthy advertising it,or calling it new, as its still not 3G, which we all need at lower prices..
    ORANGE still offers the best packages in kenya at lower prices per MB..
    the unlimmited sh’ld be actually UNLIMMITTED, Without setting prices per MB.

    they should think twice.

  5. […] In a recent post, I had (inaccurately) said that Zain Kenya had launched some new low cost prepaid and postpaid data bundles. As it turned out, unknown to me at the time, Zain had actually launched the bundles late last year but they only really stared promoting them (aggressively) over the last week or so. […]

  6. zac
    May 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm — Reply

    I guess it’s not moses’ fautl he didn’t know about it. Zain doesn’t put enough effort in advertising it’s products if u compare it with safaricom. I find myself not knowing almost half the products on offer. In the past when safaricom just launched the 2g/edge USB modems, celtel had a similar product(bambanet) and it was on the market for months, no info about it was on the papers nor their website. I came to know about it from a friend who was using it. How many of you know you can choose your own phone number? I saw an ad in the paper only once that you can receive money into your zap acc from any bank around the world then they stoped talking about it, etc etc

  7. kennedy
    May 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm — Reply

    The unlimited thing doent do good if the speed aint right!

  8. Eve
    May 31, 2010 at 7:31 am — Reply

    I agree with zac. Zain lacks proper marketing. They had Me2u way before safcom. Then safcom came up with Sambaza and voila…even zain users acquired safcom lines for the sake of Mpesa!!

  9. vostie
    July 10, 2010 at 3:11 am — Reply

    Was using th unlimited thing and i had to stop due to tortoise like speed. actually i found it exorbitant as because when i bought i was assured i would download anything at good speed. How do you conduct zain when your modem is not working? I tried calling yesterday and I was shocked to find that I have to pay ksh 20 flat rate to informe them my modem is not functioning well….

    • July 10, 2010 at 11:09 am — Reply

      I keep hearing more and more of these complaints about the Zain service and even worse their overall customer service. Hopefully, with the change to Airtel this should improve. Meanwhile, give Safaricom and Orange a try.

  10. Evans Midambo
    September 17, 2010 at 1:37 am — Reply

    Can Zain openly tell us their new internet rates so that we can compare them with its competitors. We know Safaricom is Ksh. 8.00 per 10MB and YU is Ksh. 6.00 per 20MB.. What about Zain.?

  11. November 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm — Reply

    I am using zain internet prepaid 30 days bundle always since more than 1 year, , but since last 2 months it is very poor performance , every 5 . to 20 minutes it is disconnecting it self. i makes complain in west gate Zain shop , but no reply. i am thinking to destroy this device and buy other network Device.if somebody have solution , please Help me.
    Ali Irshad
    Cell 0727219972

  12. YUSSUF
    November 29, 2010 at 7:03 am — Reply

    Hi, just wanted to know the new bundles,if you have the details plse email me

  13. Wilfred
    December 31, 2010 at 12:40 am — Reply

    Pliz lower your internet bundle rates.there too high
    compared to other networks

  14. February 19, 2011 at 9:15 am — Reply

    I have a Safaricom locked Huawei E220 modem but I unlocked it thanks to SeeJay’s blog post here:
    I went to TZ for 6 weeks and inserted an Airtel TZ sim in it. I also purchased a 400MB package for TSh 2500/- (KSh 147). The modem worked great and Airtel has 3G (HSDPA, UTMS) but after a while I was getting constant disconnects.
    In Kenya, I still use Safaricom when I’m not on Access Kenya. No complaints. Orange? I just don’t trust their network with former employees sabotaging it, stealing copper wire, etc. When Orange goes down, it’s for a few days. UNACCEPTABLE!!

  15. haris
    April 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    hey great job i like this
    n thanx

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