No it is not true, Safaricom Internet does not run out faster than Airtel Internet

If I may ask, why is anyone still using Safaricom Internet in the era of Faiba 4G?

You live in Nairobi. You always complain how Safaricom Internet is expensive. What the hell is wrong with you? Haven’t you heard of Airtel or even Telkom Internet? Okay, you have tried those, but found them unreliable. What about Faiba 4G? Try it. It is just as good, just as fast, and just as reliable as Safaricom Internet, but 75% cheaper!

When Faiba 4G was launched, I was probably the very first person to call them asking if they are sure their network is accessible from right inside my house. And when they confirmed that I could use the network from my house, I did not hesitate to get their line. But there was one problem, my phone wasn’t supporting their 4G bandwidth which is 700Mhz. So I had to buy a new phone. And I did.

There are those stuck on Safaricom Internet maybe because they haven’t heard of Faiba 4G or own devices that cannot access Faiba 4G bandwidth. If you were in the former group, now you know. If you are in the latter group, just do a simple math:

Assuming your data consumption is somewhere around 100MBs per day, then in a month you are probably using 3GB data. But since you don’t buy the monthly 3GB data that goes for around 1K on Safaricom (normal rates), you are probably spending an upward of 2K per month on data. In five months, you shall have spend 10K on data – an amount of money that is more than sufficient to get you a 4G device capable of accessing Faiba 4G Internet.

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And by the way, when you are consuming a megre 100Mbs of data per, that means there are  a million and one things you really would like to do online but you can’t do due to the limited data that you normally buy. For example you can’t freely watch those numerous videos shared online via Facebook,  WhatsApp, and even YouTube. Every time your phone tells you that you need to update your apps, your heart stops for a second. You can’t freely read online blogs, news outlets and even important articles that would improve your life. That is, simply because you are afraid of sparing around Kshs 6K to get a device that would help you enjoy the benefits of Faiba 4G cheap mobile Internet, you end up lamenting over the expensive Safaricom Internet.

Safaricom Internet does not eat data quicker

Let me take this opportunity to address the myth that Safaricom Internet runs out faster than any other mobile Internet in the market. According to GIF above, Airtel consumes data gently, minding the needs of the customer. This is opposed to the way Safaricom consumes bundles; which is being shown to be not only quicker but in greed too.

Following the allegations that Safaricom Internet runs out faster, I did a few download tests through my laptop to check just how much data Safaricom deducts from every major download I do. These tests were done when I was downloading drivers for my laptop, most of which ran into hundreds of MBs.

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The procedure of the test was to check data balance before download, and compare it to data balance after download; I then compared the difference of those figures to the size of the downloaded file. For example, if a driver was indicated as being 137MB in size, I would download it after checking my data balance that was given as 7500MB. After downloading the 137MB file, I rechecked data balance and found it to be 7362MBs. According to Safaricom therefore, I had consumed some 138MB data in order to download a 137MB file. The 1MB difference was easy to rationalise as accessing the website from where the download is located, together with connecting to the site consumed some data.

The reason why many people think that Safaricom Internet runs out faster is simply because Safaricom connects to the Internet much quicker. Assuming you were to click a page in this website – Safaricom Internet would open the page in half a second, but if you were to use Airtel Internet you probably would take two seconds before accessing the page.

The two seconds delay means you waited four times longer to access the same information. If you were browsing in one hour therefore, Safaricom Internet would have allowed you to access four times as much content as you would have accessed using Airtel Internet. This is true for videos also. On Safaricom Internet, the videos are likely to play uninterrupted, meaning you will spend less time watching the video as opposed to someone watching the same video on Airtel Internet; as Airtel Internet is very likely to experience interruptions thereby prolonging the viewing time.

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Simply put, Safaricom Internet provides a lot more content per second than Airtel Internet – but since as humans the few seconds delay doesn’t seem as much, we end up assuming that Safaricom is very greedy when it comes to data consumption.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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