Sunday, 1 December 2013

Top best internet service providers in Kenya


Liquid Telecom (Formerly Kenya Data Networks)
Kenya Data Networks formerly known as KDN was bought by Liquid telecom based in south Africa. Liquid Telecom as its known now is one of the largest internet service providers in Kenya providing both Fiber optic and wireless communication channels. The company is still based in Mombasa road sameer complex. Liquid telecom is a licensed internet service provider to smaller ISPs in Kenya. Some of the services that they offer Fiber optic connection with speeds of up to 20Mbps, broadband connection via satellite, Wimax services that ensure you get connectivity anywhere and anytime. Wimax can be helpful in areas where normal 3G connectivity is congested. Most of their clients are corporate and small companies with a bandwidth requirement of 2Mbps – 20Mbps..

Access Kenya

Access  Kenya is one of the top internet service providers and best in Kenya.Having been in the market for more than 10years.Access pride themselves with having the biggest corporate customers in the country including Banks, NGOs and other big companies.Their services are divided into 5 categories that include corporate internet solutions, residential broadband, managed services and SME. Their fiber network covers most of the buildings in Nairobi and Mombasa.There connection is not only tied to cable they are also a major wireless internet provider using their Wimax and Motorola canopy network covering majort towns like Mombasa, Athi River, Thika, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nanyuki and Nyeri.Other services offered by access include business tailored services such as cloud computing ,hosted exchange which includes email accounts for business with your own domain.Access Kenya offices occupy 3rd and 4th floor of purshottam place Museum Hill westlands.Most of their services will be suitable for big business but not SMEs or individuals. Although this doesn’t mean they don’t have you covered.

Zuku
Zuku is the other major player in the internet and pay TV market in Kenya. They have evolved to offer both services concentrating on Nairobi and its environs.Zuku services are divided into two that is satellite TV and Triple pay. For triple pay they provide high speed internet connection, TV channels and a telephone connection. They have three packages
Basic R1 – Basic TV 67 channels, 1Mbps residential connection, Phone and a router –ksh2, 999
Premium R8 – Premium 97 TV channels, 8Mbps residential connection, Phone and a Wi-Fi Router – ksh3, 999
Premium R20 – Premium 97 TV channels, 20Mbps residential connection, Phone and a Wi-Fi Router – ksh9, 999
Note: all packages have a set up fee of ksh3, 999/


These services apply in major estates in Nairobi such as South C, wetlands, Nairobi west, madaraka, Lavington, Kileleshwa and others. At the moment they are using Kenya power lines to rely their cables to other homes which I think is a good idea since they can reach many homes and estates. Zuku offices Kenya are located at Gateway Business Park, Block E, next to Parkside Towers, Mombasa Road.
iWay Africa
The company was formed after three company namely Africa online,afsat communications and M-WEB Africa came together.They offer Vsat services,Voice over internet protocol and other business to business communications services.Iway was one of the first companies offering WIMAX services.The company is based in Upper Hill Rahimtulla Towers in Kenya. It also has other branches in Africa in countries such as Nigeria,Tanzania and Nambia. They have not been able to occupy a big market share in the market and very little is known about their services. Going through their website I found very little information about their prices for different packages.I kind of came with a conclusion they must be

Faiba
Faiba is the company under Jamii Telecoms limited to cater for broadband residential fiber connections in Kenya. Some of their adverts on TV have made them very popular by the antics displayed on their adverts. But what they are providing can’t be ignored. This company has enlightened most people about the extent that a fiber connection can mean compared to normal broadband connection. Their packages are grouped into 3 categories
10Mbps connection at monthly fee of ksh10,000/=
15Mbps connection at monthly fee of ksh15,000/=
20Mbps connection at monthly fee of ksh12,000/=
Considering that its purely fiber optic connection this packages can be used to do video conferencing, Online video games, Running heavy applications on servers such as hosting websites. The advantage with fiber optic connection is less interference resulting to clear signal. This is the kind of connection you stream movies or even watch live football without noticing any lag in speed. Faiba is covering the posh estates in Nairobi such as Karen, Runda, Nyari, westlands, garden estate and others so for someone like me who lives in eehh!!! I will not be using this service my 2Mbps modem connection is good enough.

Orange Kenya

Orange Kenya is internet and voice brand by Telkom Kenya. Orange has been in the market for quite some time and used to dominate before other ISP such as safaricom and Airtel introduced the competition. They offer fixed broadband services and mobile broadband. Orange products are far and wide starting with the fixed broadband they offer. You need to have a fixed line, normal telephone line coming to your home or office for the installation for fixed broadband to take place. This connection uses ADSL technology and they offer 4 packages.
Internet Speeds
256 Kbps
512Kbps
1Mbps
2Mbps
Free Minutes Telkom/Orange Networks
30Min
60Min
90Min
120Min
Monthly Fee
2,999
4,999
6,999
9,999
Telkom Fixed/ Orange Network
As the current tariff
Telkom Fixed to othe Networks
At the current tariff
Email Address Free email address @orange.co.ke
Device Cost (Livebox + Panasonic Handset)
Ksh 3,999

This service is suitable for people with a Telephone landline already in place, but for those who would like to be set up it costs 3,394ksh + device cost of the livebox which goes for 3,490/=.That means if you already have the landline you will only incur the device cost.
The other Mobile broadband services offered by orange are Mobile connections using Modems, Wireless routers. As I told you orange Kenya has a wide range of devices. Such as the Flybox, D-Link router, Surf and Pay, Domino Wi-Fi portable router , Internet 3G modems(Wireless and GSM).
The wireless modems use the EVDO and CDMA technology and are suitable for use in areas with low 3G network. The devices range from ksh1,000 – ksh16,000/=.
Am going to touch on the most common, which is the modem. The 3G modem is the cheapest retailing at 1,999/= and the Wireless is ksh3, 999/=
All their bundles can be used on either orange wireless or 3G modem. With the exception of Airtel who re-introduced their unlimited offers, orange have been the most consistent in providing unlimited mobile broadband packages. The following is the prices for their data bundles.

Safaricom

Safaricom internet is also divided into two the business users and the average normal users.For the normal average users you can use your internet enable phone to access 3G internet using their pre-paid bundles available here.Safaricom also have a package called internet Nyumbani for users who would like to share internet using their router.The router retails at 5,999/= and comes with 4GB free data.Safaricom modem price is 1,999/= but you can get it on their offers at 1000/=.To access their bundles menu a user dials *544# and you have the option to buy using your Airtime or M-Pesa.The business packages that safaricom offers are managed WI-fi connectivity,private APN address for business or organizations, managed wide area networks and black berry offers.
One click of a button and you are connected to the world! That is how important the internet has become today. If you are a home internet user, the Safaricom 3G Router is all you need. As a safaricom user the only thing I have noticed is their bundles are slightly expensive compared to orange Kenya.Also they have stopped offering Unlimited internet.Safaricom complained of their users abusing the services by exceeding the limits.

Airtel
Airtel kenya have majored on 3G services for mobile users in Kenya. Their 3G network covers Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru .Most of airtel packages are grouped into prepaid data bundles and the unlimited package. Their bundles are similar to Safaricom's prices and have an average validity of 30 days. You can use them on your handset,Modem or router. Comparing their unlimited with orange kenya unlimited, airtel is a bit expensive but worth. when you buy the daily unlimited that costs 250ksh you get 3GB after being capped ,15GB on weekly and 30Gb on monthly unlimited.Check out all their bundles here
The prices are
One day Ez Blaze unlimited 250/=
One week Ez Blaze unlimited 1, 299
One monthly  Ez Blaze unlimited 3,499.
Almost forgot the airtel tosha bundles for 20sh.Its suitable for mobile users willing to spend only 20sh and you get 100mb.The only catch is that it runs up to midnight and after that you must renew it. Also you cannot subscribe to any other unlimited offer when you on the Tosha offer.

Final verdict is all internet service providers have their pros and cons. Some are good when it comes to their prices, customer experience with their staff in case you run into problems and efficiency in terms of packages offered. Also it depends with the kind of bandwidth you require for your needs. Business users will not go for bundles or Unlimited offers that capped by Internet service providers in Kenya.
Concerning 3G connectivity some areas in the country have poor 3G network and no matter what you do they cannot receive the best connection here many people complaining about airtel network but I have a very good connection on my modem in my House never experience slow speeds. Before you get yourself some 3G modem always confirm the reception in that area. Another point to note before you go for unlimited internet bundles beware that most of them are capped except the ones offered by companies such as Zuku, Faiba or Liquid telecom. I will not tarnish the names  of any provider but some of them have a bad reputation with customer care and constant downtime.

Other internet service providers that I did not cover but are also popular include Tangerine, Jambo telekom, Yu Essar etc.