Safaricom Home Fiber: Should You Ditch Your Current Provider?
Earlier this year, Safaricom made good on their plans to roll out fiber internet solutions for home users by introducing the Safaricom Home Fiber service. This shook up the home internet scene. It is still expected that the competition will get even steeper with JTL announcing speed upgrades for their customers.
But, is it wise to cancel your subscription with your current provider yet? The answer might be a simple no. While Safaricom Home Fiber is an internet only service (albeit for now), a provider like Zuku offers what they call a triple play package. They offer 3 services i.e internet, cable TV and phone from within the same package. This is beneficial to middle class families where entertainment is also catered for. In this case, Safaricom is a not so good replacement.
Although Safaricom also offers home entertainment services through their Big Box products, a separate package. From a consumer standpoint, the differences seem overstated and this is why;
The low priced packages are similar between the Zuku and Safaricom Home Fiber. JTL is pricier.
Currently Zuku offers a package known as “Jipange 10 (J10)”. As the name suggests, the package provides for speeds of up to 10Mbps, like Safaricom’s “Silver” package. The similarity is further proven by the fact that unlike the other Zuku packages, their J10 package only provides for internet connection. JTL’s Faiba Home offers 30Mbps as their most affordable package at KSH 5,000.
Zuku, JTL Home Faiba out-price Safaricom Home Fiber in most instances.
The entry-level tripple pay package from Zuku gives you more value for your money as compared to Safaricom Home Fiber. Zuku Fiber offers 30Mbps + 61 TV Channels + a phone at KSH 4,699. Safaricom Home Fiber’s closest package comes in at KSH 4,999 and only offers internet speeds of up to 20Mbps. Of the biggest contrast is Zuku’s Home Premium and Safaricom Home Fiber’s “Platinum” package.
While both packages come in at KSH9,999, Safaricom Home Fiber gives a max speed of 40Mbps while Zuku offers 100Mbps alongside their extra triple-pay options. Safaricom is again outdone by JTL’s Faiba Home which offers 50Mbps for the same price point.
It might not be available in your area yet.
This is one of the biggest issues affecting Safaricom Home Fiber. Being new to the market, they aren’t yet in most locations (at the time of writing). Even areas close to the CBD like South B are yet to get connected. You might have to stick with your current provider for longer than you expected.
It’s interesting that areas such as Kinoo and Kikuyu Township were among the first areas to get connected. While this might seem pointless to most people, Safaricom’s strategy is a clever and broad one. By capturing earlier neglected areas, they have ensured that they are at least the first ISP in some of these not-so-populated areas. You might want to attribute this to the fact that both of these locations lie along Waiyaki Way, a road connecting these areas to Safaricom’s corporate headquarters. Yet, there must be more to it than this single factor.
Safaricom Home Fiber’s quality of service remains untested.
Since it is new, there might not be enough data to prove the reliability or lack thereof, of Safaricom Home Fiber. JTL Faiba gets the huge thumbs up here, with its reputation as the most stable and reliable ISP among the three.
Zuku’s loyalty program might be a game changer.
A few months back, Zuku introduced their own loyalty program. The scheme awards a loyalty point customers who make their payments before disconnection. When the points accumulate to three, the customer has to make their fourth payment on time too to redeem the three points for a double speed upgrade for one month. This is a sign of ingenuity from Zuku and it is also well timed. Coming months after Safaricom’s entry into the market, the move is sure to help Zuku keep some of their customers.
Safaricom’s entry into the market was a sure game changer. Yet, the current players in the home internet scene were more than prepared to put up a fight. The script might change further down the line as is evident in past scenarios. Some of these ISPs will either increase the prices of their packages or even scrap them altogether. It might be too early for consumers to start switching to Safaricom Home Fiber.
UPDATE 1 (04/11/2017) :
Safaricom Home Fiber now offers a cheaper 5Mbps package for KSH 2,500. You can confirm availability in your area by dialing *400# on Safaricom Line.