Kenya’s Safaricom, has partnered with PSV operators to see passengers access free internet in more than 200 matatus and buses by September this year.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said the move to provide portable internet was a perfect example of products and services adapting to suit consumers’ lifestyles.
“Most of our customers use matatu’s and buses as their preferred mode of transport on a day to day basis. This therefore presents us with a fantastic opportunity to drive home the internet story and make it a way of life among our customers which we believe we will achieve by availing FREE Wi-Fi internet in matatus,” he said.
A total of 46 PSV using the Buruburu, Langata, Rongai, Umoja, Githurai, Dandora, Kiambu and Kenyatta University routes have already been fitted with supported Wi-Fi routers. Buses on the Nairobi- Mombasa route will also offer the service.
This initiative worth Kshs 7 million is part of the Telco’s on-going effort to grow its data footprint.
Collymore further added that the new initiative is part of an on-going campaign to democratize data. More than half of Safaricom’s customer base has access to an internet device a result he attributed to the introduction of subsidized smartphones.
“This is a very exciting phase for the PSV sector. We have a lot of innovation put into buses and matatu’s over the years, but this is a major milestone. With over 300,000 Kenyans using public transport every day, we believe having Wi-Fi in PSV’s will go a long way in making our passengers commute worthwhile”, said the Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai
This move will give customers the opportunity to remain connected to unlimited 3G internet without having to use their existing bundles.