Mobile phones in Kenya, also known as “mobiles”, are immensely popular, not least because of the inadequacies of the fixed line system. There were more than 15 million cell phone users in Kenya in 2004, and it is estimated that 90 percent of all calls are made by cell phone. Initially, call rates were high, but they have come down considerably.
Most subscribers use the prepaid service – pay-as-you-go with scratch cards that can be purchased just about anywhere and in affordable denominations. A postpaid service is also available. Kenya uses the GSM 900 system, which is compatible with Europe and Australia but not North America.Handsets are easily and cheaply available, as are SIM cards (sold in a prepaid starter pack from the main providers Safaricom and Airtel). Coverage is good, other than in far-flung rural areas and in some of the national parks and reserves.
Revolution of the Mobile Phones in Kenya
The advent of the mobile phones in Kenya has brought about a revolution in communications in Kenya. Previously, only the affluent could afford a phone; now just about every city dweller has a cell phone, while in the rural areas small kiosks provide the use of a cell phone for a fee, and take incoming calls. The cell phone has transformed business in the private sector, especially in agricultural areas where producers can now cut out the middleman and do business direct. The arrival of the cell has also changed social behavior: families living “up country” can be contacted by those working in the urban areas; husbands are expected to call home if they are going to be late, adolescents can flag their movements to their parents, and social arrangements are quickly and easily made.
Mobile Phones in Kenya – SMS (Texting)
Anyone with a cell phone in Kenya will almost certainly be obsessed with texting, which is both efficient and economical. All over the country you see wrinkled brows as users painstakingly punch out their messages, just about everyone is supremely “text-lit,” and texting is an accepted form of conducting business.
Mobile Phones in Kenya – Buzzing (Please Call Me)
Particularly at the end of the month, when money is short, or if the user has run out of prepaid usage on his or her phone, they will “buzz” you by calling your number then immediately disconnecting the call. When this happens, you are expected to call them back.
Where and When to Use Your Mobile Phones in Kenya
As in the West, many public institutions in now ban the use of cell phones. Some even levy fines on those who disregard the notices, notably in private clubs such as the Nairobi Club or the Muthaiga Club. Using a cell phone (unless you have hands-free equipment) when you are driving is illegal and will result in being pulled over by the police. Showing a cell phone on the street or in other crowded areas is unwise, since there is a booming trade in snatched phones, and an industry devoted to unlocking them.
Mobile Phones in Kenya – Price, Make and Specification
- Tecno Phones in Kenya
- LG Phones in Kenya
- Samsung Phones in Kenya
- Alcatel Phones in Kenya
- Wiko Phones in Kenya
- HTC Phones in Kenya
- Sony Phones in Kenya
- Safaricom Phones
- Smartphones in Kenya
- Huawei Phones in Kenya