You can now own a 4G enabled device from Safaricom for as little as KSh20 a day.

The innovative smartphone financing solution, launched on Tuesday, is called Lipa Mdogo Mdogo and will give Safaricom subscribers a wide variety of phones to choose from. It is aimed at giving customers access to opportunities presented by the internet.

The campaign is in line with the telco’s vision of transforming lives; making smartphones accessible and affordable to those who have been left out in the internet and digital age. It is also in partnership with Google to offer one million affordable smartphones to customers and get them to upgrade to 4G.

To access the smartphones, customers will need to dial *544# to check their qualification criteria.

One needs to be above 18 years, be a regular user of Safaricom products and have a history with the telco for at least one year. One also needs to be a customer using a 2G feature phone.

If you qualify, you will be required to pay a down payment of KSh1000 then make daily payments of KSh20 a day. The daily repayments will increase if a customer chooses a high value smartphone. Further, if they make consistent payments for a week, they will receive 100MB free of You Tube bundles.

Speaking at the launch, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said that this is a huge step in enabling a digital lifestyle in Kenya.

“Once again we are greatly pleased to present another first to the world. Nowhere else in the world has a similar initiative ever been experienced. I am confident that it will be transformative, just the same way M-PESA set the stage and transformed the global mobile money landscape,” he said.

The initiative will help bridge the digital divide by building a significant penetration of 4G handsets and internet usage in the country.

Network coverage in Kenya is fairly widespread with2G and 3G covering 95 per cent while 4G covers more than 77 per cent of the population. However, Safaricom’s 4G penetration is at 17 per cent.

In the past financial year, Safaricom invested just over KSh36 billion in network development.

“I am committed to ensuring 4G access throughout the country by the end of this financial year. It is my goal that every Kenyan will access and enjoy rapid digital dividends brought about by the opportunities of the digital world,” he said.

The Communication Authority of Kenya estimates that mobile phone penetration is at 116 per cent. This was as of 31st of March 2020. However, Safaricom’s customer base smartphone penetration is only at 42 per cent and this service will not only power growth, but also ramp up data revenues.

“We are constantly working towards making data more affordable. In the past financial year, we recorded a significant reduction in data rates by 28 per cent while use of data increased by 47 percent per user. The uptake of increased consumption was due to a unique customer centric offer launched late last year with no expiry on data and on voice,” he said.