CIO East Africa reports on Kenyan telecommunication services provider Safaricom’s rollout of data services to local public service vehicles or matatus.
According to the report the intention is to provide commuters with access to free Wi-Fi via Safaricom Wi-Fi modems installed in the vehicles.
Whilst matatus will not be charged for the service for the first month, Safaricom has initiated a survey to determine pricing for charges after this grace period.
Currently the cost is approximately KSh. 1,500 (approximately $18) per vehicle per month writes CIO East Africa.
The rollout has reportedly been well received by both operators of matatus and commuters. The former because of an increase in credibility helping to differentiate the service, the latter because of access to data while on the move.
There is speculation that the company may focus more on smartphone application as part of the offering.
“During announcement of their annual results, Safaricom said that it had 2.3 million 3G phones on the network of which only 1.2 million are smartphones. The move will also come as a relief to commuters who often spend more than an hour on rush hour commutes,” states CIO East Africa.