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Safaricom woos SMEs with new Internet data plan

Safaricom has stepped up the hunt for business from small enterprises with the launch of a new Internet data plan which allows users to connect up to 10 devices.

The telecommunications firm on Thursday launched the Easy50 bundle for SMEs, offering customers up to 50 gigabytes (GB) of data at a cost of Sh6,000 per month.

The data, which can be accessed through a wireless router or smartphone hotspot, will still be available at lower speeds when customers exhaust their bundles. Unused bundles will be rolled over to the next month.

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“We live in a data-driven age, with the Internet forming the backbone for many business operations,” Rita Okuthe, Safaricom’s business director, said in a statement. “Through this specialised product we aim to transform how SMEs do business by enabling them to affordably stay online and easily share files or communicate with customers, suppliers and colleagues on the go.”

The latest offering is part of Safaricom’s strategy to expand its data market at a time when it has recorded slow growth in voice revenue.

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In the six months to September the company earned most of its revenue from non-voice services, a first in Safaricom’s history. Mobile data revenues rose 46.3 per cent to Sh13.4 billion while voice revenues inched higher by 1.1 per cent to Sh45.7 billion.

The telco has increasingly targeted SMEs with services including fibre connectivity, email accounts, text messages, voice minutes, tablets as well as mobile or bank accounts.

The company has been expanding its “fibre for business” network in the past two years, with specific focus on SMEs in major towns across the country.

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Last month, Safaricom rolled out high-speed fibre connection in Eldoret, adding to the successful deployment of the same in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

The company says that the Easy50 bundle for SMEs ought to act as a stop-gap measure even as it expands this fibre network.

“The service will also come in handy for SMEs who, for one reason or another, are not able to sign up to fibre connectivity,” said Ms Okuthe.

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