Telkom has finally launched wireless services using RUIM cards that are inserted into handheld or desk phones. The basic wireless phone is a Huawei model that retails for about 9,000 shillings while a line (RUIM card) costs another 1,000.
The service is available in Nairobi only for now – roughly covering the area between Mlolongo to Ruaraka, to Banana Hill to Kikuyu and Langata.
Local calls are billed at 7 shillings per minute, calls to mobile at 24/= per minute (billed every 10 seconds), calls to Flashcom/Popote will be at 14/= and international VIOP 888 will be at 15/= per minute.
Data can be obtained (via dialup) at 3 shillings per minute.
You can use Telkom phone cards (denominations of 200, 500 and 1,000) to top up.
But it appears SMS is only possible with other Telkom wireless phones and billed at 2.50 each. Maybe Safaricom & Celtel have not allowed outsiders’ access to their subscribers.
Verdict: A humble start without much fanfare. Expect some teething pains and the savings and possibilities will take a few months to become apparent. As Shiroh noted, peer pressure and word of mouth are key drivers for people to try new services.
– Did Kenya and other country banks violate laws by sharing bank data with US authorities on SWIFT transactions?
– An Islamic bank will open branches in Nairobi and Mombasa by year end running full Sharia principled banking.
– Postbank is implementing a new business model for next year
– The first public Kengen AGM will be held at Kasarani gymnasium in November. I’d have held it at Masinga or Turkwell dams or Olkaria.
– Is Safaricom using VoIP for its help line? When/If you ever get through the call quality is very poor
– Saw a CCK monitoring vehicle driving round the city this week. Perhaps trying to trace some illegal signals?