YU’s Low Cost Data Bundles.

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.

Therefore, on this post, rather than make the same mistake, I would just like to point out some “new” information that has come to my attention this week. YU which is Kenya’s third mobile network in terms of total subscribers has launched a range of low cost prepaid limited and unlimited use data bundles.

The rates are even lower than Zain Kenya’s, although, once again, they are only available on 2.5G speeds. In addition, the YU data modem costs are also lower than the competition at Kes. 1,799.00. The details on the bundles are as follows:

  • Unlimited Daily: Kes. 49.00
  • Unlimited Monthly: Kes. 999.00
  • 100 MB Data Bundle: Kes. 250.00
  • 250 MB Data Bundle: Kes. 500.00
  • 750 MB Data Bundle: Kes. 1,000.00
  • 3 GB Data Bundle: Kes. 2,000.00
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  1. Justin
    May 1, 2010 at 9:29 am — Reply

    Excellent stuff. Now if only they could get their speeds up to scratch… Seriously, I can download a 5 MB attachment on Safaricom’s edge faster than a 500 kb file on Yu here in the boondocks of Mùrang’a.

  2. omaita
    May 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm — Reply

    yea, justin is right. I am currentlty on the YU 999/- a month unlimited offer. but the speed is dead slow. i was actually excited at first, but now i’m too frustrated…the speed never exceeds 2.5kb/s on the download (and they claim it’s EDGE)! could u guys please advise me the usual speed of the zain modem?

  3. May 3, 2010 at 9:41 am — Reply

    Zain has the same slow speeds,have been using the postpaid unlimited internet offer for 3000 per month and i regret getting into a one year contract.am just realising that for quality,speed and reliability safaricom tops it.it might be expensive but if you look at it as an investment,its worth it.what we need is an unlimited offer by safaricom for around 4k and we are set.ama what do you think?

  4. rr
    May 3, 2010 at 3:49 pm — Reply

    Orange is also quite good, speeds are decent with an unlimited week offer for 990/- I think that is the closest to Safaricom’s speeds you can get

  5. May 4, 2010 at 9:50 am — Reply

    Yeah. an unlimited offer from saf. but they tend to keep their prices too high.

  6. Kinuthia Small
    May 6, 2010 at 1:56 am — Reply

    Orange mobile speeds any goood anyone?

    • raval
      November 9, 2010 at 12:18 am — Reply

      orange ultimate weekly 999/= is much batter than any others forget abt safaricom looted kenyans like no 1 els

      • February 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm — Reply

        I think Orange should offer monthly unlimited with this competent speed. Safaricom is really worth but sometimes looking at prices it seems to be costly.
        Was thinking airtel will offer some nice unlimited monthly bundles @ around 2500 but…. At last everybody has to resort to safaricom.

  7. Lin
    May 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    Wats yu email address

  8. May 7, 2010 at 8:04 am — Reply

    I unlocked my safcom modem and inserted the YU sim card. Although the speeds are slow, thats fine with me because I use the web for blogging and reading. As long as I can log in into my wordpress account comfortably I dont need safcom 3G speeds.
    .-= Constantine´s last blog ..2010 Pittsburgh Half & Full Marathon Photos : Pictures =-.

  9. Barasa
    May 22, 2010 at 2:43 am — Reply

    To activate press- *154# and sale ur options!

  10. May 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    yu up ua game

  11. June 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    nice post! i unlocked my zain modem and will take a look at the yu internet speeds on it

  12. June 7, 2010 at 11:30 am — Reply

    Zain internet is like hell and death its too too useless with non caring customer cares, what are the directors doing about this? if one uses it for business you will end up loosing all your clients its that bogas. May they know the meaning of the competition and think about it severally.

  13. jamka
    June 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    ev used both zain n safcom modem but so far safcom tops.however ev found a way of boostin da connection speed of zain frm 256kb/sec to 921kb/s by using my powerful 4ne ar as a modem n i must say am happy now.

  14. Chem
    July 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm — Reply

    For me I believe Orange is the best compromise. Speeds of approx 100kbps all day at fair rates does it.

  15. July 9, 2010 at 6:22 am — Reply

    I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience the ‘speed’ of a YU modem. Constant outages were the norm, where the software indicated that it was connected but no transfer of data was actually occuring.

    I used a 56K modem in the UK ( in 1996! ), and regularly acheived a consistent speed, averaging around 5 kilobytes / sec. Over a decade later, getting even 2 kilobytes /sec on YU is quite a feat.

    At home, I am currently using Safaricom 300 MB bundles @ Ksh. 1000. Orange charge Ksh. 850 for 500 MB!

    At the office, I am currently using Orange ADSL. It’s quite nice, but nowhere near the 2 megabit @ 30 pounds per month that I got so used to.

    I agree that Safaricom’s prices are too high. Whatever happened to Safaricom’s unlimited @ Ksh.1000 a week offer? It was there briefly and then vanished. They were probably hammered by the evil 24/7 torrents users and decided to pull the plug. 🙂

    On the subject of unlocked Safaricom modems, I’ve unlocked mine. Zain works fine. Yu connects for roughly 2 seconds, then disconnects. Orange connects for roughly two seconds, then disconnects. Orange customer service said that the Orange modem software needs to be installed alongside the Safaricom software. Don’t know how true that is.

    Wrong details in profile?

    Orange GSM simcard -> APN: bew.orange.co.ke , Access number: *99***1# , User name: orangefixedplus , Password: orange

    What are the correct, verified settings for Orange and YU?

    If I can find someone to lend me an Orange modem to trial, and the speeds are satisfactory ( i.e. way better than Zain / Yu ), then I might just purchase an Orange modem and semi retire this Safaricom one.

    • raval
      November 9, 2010 at 12:31 am — Reply

      for fast internet i advise go for orange modem is good one

      for mobile voice call sms by zain line

  16. Faiz
    July 27, 2010 at 12:09 am — Reply

    Yu data speeds are the lousiest i’ve ever come across. whatever happened to the mega speeds promised with the advent of the fibre optic cable.i love the costs though and i’ve subscribed to the 999/= monthly unlimited offer. it pretty does almost everything i need but an improvement on the speeds would do a lot of good. i use the Orange modem also and the speeds are better. Safaricom bundles are way too costly but the speeds are superb. if only they’d come up with an unlimited monthly offer and at a friendly price.

  17. moses
    August 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm — Reply

    i kindly request you to unlock my modem ;ce0682 : imei=351596033949746 .i like your network rates.keep up

    • Mon
      September 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm — Reply

      still need unlocking send ur imei to this no. 0727116638

    • October 13, 2010 at 3:46 am — Reply

      You connect the modem and type this unlock code:

      Unlock: 36036061
      Flash: 55552509

  18. August 7, 2010 at 5:05 am — Reply

    Mobile providers looked promising on provision of Internet services than the Traditional ISPs. This was due to the High costs by ISPs even after the arrival of the Fibre optic cables. Only safaricom seems to be fulfilling its promises to clients todate. I used Saf and yu Internet services and do agree that Yu still has to do alot generally(constant outages and at times doesnt even connect).
    I think the way forward is to invest on the setup costs of an internet connection like the KDN Box one and pay the monthly costs of Ksh.1000 for 256kbps. Theres is even a package for Ksh.2000 per month with better speeds.
    But again I feel ISPs will be forced to lower their prices down (especially the setup costs-some call it deposit fee)considering the massive competition by Mobile Service providers.

  19. Peter Gogo
    September 4, 2010 at 5:06 am — Reply

    Do your mathematics, how do you expect to be given unlimited internet for as little as 1000 Kenya shillings at a speed higher than 2.5kbps. This is not unlimited internet but 1 GB bundle ensured to last for just 30 days. Zain charges 3000 for it and Yu charges 1000.

    Based on what you have discussed so far is that the best connection you have gotten with unlimitted access is 2.5kbps consistently. If we calculate this translates to about 320 bytes of data per sec.

    i.e, 2.5 kbits/sec * 1024 bits = 2560 bits/sec

    we know that 8 bits make one Byte of data


    2560 (bits/sec) / 8 (bits/byte) = 320 bytes/sec

    Which translates to

    320 (Bytes/60sec) * 60 (secs/min) = 19,200 Bytes/min

    Which comes to

    19,200 (Bytes/min) * 60 (mins/hr) = 1,152,000 Bytes/hr

    which is equivalent to

    1152000 (Bytes/hr) / 1024 (bytes/kBytes) = 1,125 kBytes/hr

    Assuming you are on the net the whole day and night then

    1125 (kBytes/hr) * 24 (hrs/day) = 27,000 kBytes/day

    Which is equivalent to

    27000 (kBytes/day) / 1024 (kBytes/MBytes) = 26.3671875 MBytes/day

    Let assume you are on the net for 30 days (the validity period)

    26.3671875 (MBytes/day)*(30 days/month) = 791.015625 MBytes/month

    As you can see this is less than 1 GBytes of data per month. In fact to achieve 1 GB data you have to be continuously connected at 3.325kbits/sec on average for 24 hours 30 days continuously.

    As far as am concerned this is not unlimited internet but controlled browsing.

    For Zain they charge about 3000 for the so called unlimited. If you ever even able to download more than 1 GB of data or anywhere close to it then you are lucky. Its equivalent to Safaricoms 700 MB bundle only that its been spread over a period of 30 days while Safaricom does not care how fast you consume your 700MB. Its up to you to decide whether you want to consume it in a day or for 30 days depending on your browsing habit. Safaricom is not necessarily expensive as laid out here

    Another conclusion we can draw out from this is that Zain is actually more expensive on its unlimited offer. As Safaricom’s 700 MB goes for kshs 2000. As for YU they are still cheaper as their unlimited offer goes for Kshs 1000 but note that its hardly impossible to maintain the connection for 24x7x30. So even achieving the 700 MB per month can prove to be a challenge. I will actually test how much data you can actually download in a month. (I will configure it to automatically reconnect as I download a file of 450MB – Just to test whether it can download this within its unlimited bundle)

    So just understand that no mobile provider is currently providing unlimited internet. Look at your needs and how fast you need your information. If speed is not an issue you can subscribe to the other mobile providers who are not on 3G.

    • February 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm — Reply

      Perfect calculation. Safaricom is really best in all of these business makers(cheaters?)

  20. solo
    September 12, 2010 at 7:04 am — Reply

    If you want value for your money, KDN wifi is the best option for just 2320 p.m. you get download speeds of upto 1Mbit/sec.
    That’s enough for live streaming, you tube without buffering.
    The only short constrain is that you have to be in their wi-fi hotspot(and so you need no modem). You just need a wifi enabled laptop(most of which are) or wifi card for about 1,499 kshs.
    Sorry if you are not in a hotspot though:D

  21. Sugaray
    September 20, 2010 at 5:39 am — Reply

    I have high hopes that when zain also launch 3G, then price wars (like the one witnessed recently) will start. We stand 2 benefit as customers and dont be surprised when u pay as little as 700bob for 7.2 mbps. Its not a pipe dream! If u are using the old safcom modem (oval shaped) then u know what am talking about. On the 3G network they peak speeds of up to 7.2 mbps.The new generation safcom modems (flash disk shaped) only attain 3.6 mbps. When price wars start I know I’ll be kicking ass big time! As for other networks, “PLEASE STEP YOUR GAME UP.” We should be thinking of how to welcome 4G instead of agonizing over irritating internet connection speeds.

  22. omar
    September 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm — Reply

    so far zuku seems to be doing quite well 4 me set up fee only 3000/
    and monthly subscription depending on bundle
    256kbps 1500/=
    512kbps 2500/=
    1mb/s 4500/=

    speeds are fairly constant the main problem is that it is only available in major towns

  23. sambai
    September 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm — Reply

    I’ve been using Safaricom e960 gateway for a while and the speeds are great, provided you are on a 3G area. realized there was unlimited internet on Yu and decided to give it a try but i am already regretting subscribing for the 999/= monthly plan.The speeds are damn bad. I need good speeds at a reasonable fee.

    i think am trying Zuku next. Don’t try Yu if you haven’t,coz you’ll not like the experience.

  24. JOT
    September 24, 2010 at 6:00 am — Reply

    Hi. I am wondering whether the Safaricom 10mb per day is still on. I think this is the best offer in the market. Secondly, if you need to unlock ur modem, then email me the 15digit IMEI number, be sure to get your unlock code. (Huawei)

    • September 27, 2010 at 5:03 am — Reply

      I want to unlock the zain modem and switch it to other service provider. IE be able to use with either orange/safaricom

  25. September 27, 2010 at 5:00 am — Reply

    I also bought zain modem some several months ago and it is very slow and useless that it even cant beat my phone speed using bluetooth.

  26. John
    October 6, 2010 at 3:23 am — Reply

    how to you go about unlocking the Safaricom modem?

  27. Maxwell
    October 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm — Reply

    Have been following this blog for a while now and i give you guys the thumbs up sign.Here in Kenya,packet data transmission has got a long way to go considering the fact that its IT population is gradually growing.
    Wireless data transmission is by far the best way to reach this demand with Safaricom,Zain,Orange and yu being the only contenders all on GSM platform with the exception of Orange(on its telkom wireless network)which has got a CDMA network.And Still safaricom is the only one with a 3G network in Major towns,and Orange on EVDO network,also limited to major towns.
    To my judgement,after Orange upgraded their EVDO transmission last month,its by far superior than Safaricom’s 3G services in terms of speed(i got practical downlink speeds of 2.8Mbps in my room-‘watched a whole movie online’,while in most cases safaricom 3G rarely hits the 1Mbps mark on downlink)and is obviously cost effective.
    Ofcourse Yu’s 2.5G network has got the most attractive data plans but unfortunately it’s grab and you need a powerful phone to tap it consistenly.As for Zain,i have not tested its network but a couple os my friends tell me it’s crap!
    Note:Orange’s EVDO and Safcom’s W-CDMA(commonly called 3G)belong to the same class of 3.5G of data transmission

    • edutchz
      December 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm — Reply

      Well I have to prove you wrong when it comes to your comparison between Safaricom and Orange on speed basis..I am yet to see consistent speeds above 1Mb/s on EVDO modems whereas I get consistent speeds of more than 2Mb/s on a Huwaei E160 thats capped at 3.6Mb/s.

      First of all, EVDO rev A, has a maximum output of up to 3.1Mb/s, while HSDPA currently goes up to 14Mb/s with supported devices.

      You seem to be mixed up about WCDMA. This is just an air interface standard that supports UMTS networks which Safaricom happens to be one. Safaricom’s 3G is powered by HSDPA which is dubbed 3.5G whereas EVDO is not considered 3.5G but only 3G!

  28. Eager Beaver
    November 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm — Reply

    Does blocking images while surfing prolong a bundle and to what extent? Maxwell, you into crunching numbers, whats your take?

    Anyone else too can shed some light.

    • tonrix
      November 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm — Reply

      Of course blocking images will prolong your bundle, what’s even more beneficial is if you can block flash videos and other data-consuming stuff.

  29. Paul Code X
    November 15, 2010 at 10:16 am — Reply

    I have used both safcom and orange on my 3g fon and Id say safcom still beats orange whn it comes to dload speeds and stability.Costs per mb are still exorbitant so I think the onus is on the user.Do you want higher speeds for more or lower speeds for less?I guess thats what everyone here is trying to say.

    • edutchz
      December 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm — Reply

      You can’t compare Safcom and Orange speeds on your 3G enabled phone since that’s no level playing ground. Don’t forget that safcom is currently the only netwrk in Kenya that has 3G!

  30. tonrix
    November 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm — Reply

    Honestly, i have no problem with YU. I am not a big fan of data bundles, they are crap.. To ensure good speeds use internet accelerators for your browser and a download manager like IDM.

    Take advantage of all ISPs; use safcom 3G for general browsing and switch to YU when you want to download a movie (it will take long but it won’t cost extra)..

    By the way Butterfly is free (for now) so is Loopnet and WezeshaNet.

    • edutchz
      December 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm — Reply

      Seriously, as in download a movie with YU’s sloooooow internet??
      If it took me almost 4 hours just to download a mere 20MB program..am wondering how long it will take to download say 800MB of data! N lets not 4get..that took me 4 hours on a ‘good day’, good as in the connection didn’t die out on me as it usually does whenever it feels like!

  31. December 9, 2010 at 10:16 am — Reply

    those comparing orange internet on the phone with safcom should get this right. connections over orange internet using the “normal” phone connections will register you to the edge network. to get the best out of orange and by this i mean speeds of 100kbps during peak hours use the cdma modems available or evdo modems. Orange is definately better than safaricom.

  32. Harry
    December 20, 2010 at 7:14 am — Reply

    I have used safaricom,yu and Zain lines on my zain modem and i can tell you safaricom is by far the fastest of the 3 but the most expensive . Zain is faster than yu but it keeps disconnecting after a few seconds. Am on the yu-unlimited a month offer and the speeds are not as fast as i would like but the bundle is truly unlimited. I have so far downloaded about 7GB of a certain series and i get to do other stuff on the internet …its not a bad bargain it is slow but it is cheap!

  33. Tim
    January 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm — Reply

    I have been using the Huawei E220 with Yu and the speeds range from 5KB/s to slightly above 25KB/s. I am a happy bunny… I accidentally altered the settings and that was it…

  34. james
    March 15, 2011 at 8:14 am — Reply

    Can anyone give me the apn, access number,username and
    password for the yu network

  35. March 28, 2011 at 3:27 am — Reply

    This is just an air interface standard that supports UMTS networks which Safaricom happens to be one

  36. Samurai
    April 1, 2011 at 2:27 am — Reply

    Yu has great mobile net offers @ 3 days unlimited for 29 bob and monthly unlimited at 299 ksh and if u are a comp guru just connect ur phone to ur pc and take advantage of their speeds i.e 415 kb/ s ,,,, connection may be via usb cable of ur phone and its sync software ‘downloadable’ or via bluetooth no software required and no cables, surf when the phone is in ur pocket,,,,,,,

  37. johnshuffle
    May 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm — Reply

    Hi. I am wondering whether the Safaricom 10mb per day is still on. I think this is the best offer in the market. Secondly, if you need to unlock ur modem, then email me the 15digit IMEI number, be sure to get your unlock code.

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