ITNewsAfrica reports that Kenya’s venerable ISPs could be on the brink of a price war as they seek to consolidate and build on their market positions as a greater proportion of consumers demand broadband access.
According to the article, Safaricom, Zain, Africa Online, Access Kenya and others are competing to be the top dog in the ICT sector, especially when it comes to internet access. According to Access Kenya’s MD, David Somen, the operators can imagine Kenyans spending $100 a month on home broadband.
Hold up, wait a minute, WTF!? Mr. Somen needs to put down that pipe, delete his dealer’s number from his phone and chill out in the fresh air for a while. $100 dollars a month? Those had better be Zimbabwean dollars he’s talking about, because otherwise I am not interested.
I know we have a growing middle class. I know we have experienced healthy economic growth in the last few years. I know that there are more of us who have more disposable income nowadays. But $100 a month? Hell no! For that amount of money, if I sign up in January, I expect a boxfresh new laptop in December. If that kind of money is the floor for any price war between the providers, Kenya will never have high broadband penetration. That kind of tariff is just too damned expensive.
Grab your rosaries, crucifixes, voodoo dolls or whatever it is you use for faith/religious purposes and pray that an all-out price war does appear, because otherwise we will be milked for every penny we’re worth. And if only the prosperous can afford internet access, the government can kiss goodbye to any hope of the country becoming an IT hub.
[Image by Tennessee Wanderer]