Not long ago, the easiest way of sending money from, say Nairobi to Mombasa, was by using Western Union. Reliable as the means was, it was slow and above all costly. The introduction of mobile money solved those two issues. Most importantly, however, is the fact that mobile money has spurred growth in many other sectors in the country. Kenya currently has half the number of people using mobile money in the world. Almost all banks have embraced the technology with mobile banking. The effects of the introduction of an efficient, fast and affordable way of sending money has transformed the financial sector in the country.
Zuku fiber is similar in the sense that it has introduced fast, efficient and affordable broadband to consumers. Will the effects be as incredible and vast as those of mobile banking? Let us wait and see. One thing for sure is that other internet service providers will have to reduce their prices or they will lose their customers. In the case of mobile money above, Western Union lost most of its customers. Competition is always good to the consumers. It will be interesting to see how other providers will match Zuku’s fast affordable fiber internet.
Internet speeds have always been an issue in Africa. Kenya’s average internet speeds are less than the average global speeds of 4.6 Mbps. South Korea is the country with the fastest average speeds of 24 Mbps. Zuku fiber has packages with speeds of up to 50 Mbps. Most consumers are on 10 Mbps, which is way faster than the Kenyan and global average. Other service providers will have to improve their speeds or lose their customers.
Fast affordable internet opens doors to so many opportunities. Online trading is peaking up in the country, with sites such as OLX Kenya, RUPU and Jumia. These sites make buying and selling a lot easier as one can do it at the comfort of their homes. With Jumia, for example, one needs not go to an actual store as they deliver the goods. With OLX the internet is transformed to a market where there is buying and selling of goods. The more people connected to the internet, the better for online trading.
Moreover, most businesses have realized that marketing and advertising has evolved, and not only involves the traditional print media or the sales people going door to door. The internet is a far much bigger untapped market. Companies now see the need of spending money on online advertisements, and lately, social media. Improvement in internet connectivity and speeds ensures that there is a bigger market for goods and services.
The other day, the Government announced that one can now apply for driving licenses online. This is one of the many Government services, including filing for taxes, applying for trade licenses, tendering processes etc, that are available online. The success of these services depends on fast reliable internet. Consequently, these online services will increase efficiency, reduce corruption and decongest Government offices.
E-learning has started to gain popularity in the country with various universities offering courses. E-learning is convenient and affordable. Most importantly, it depends on internet. There is so much information available on the internet. With the internet, the world became a small village. A discovery in America will be on the internet for the whole world to read on the very day the discovery is made, unlike several years ago when the discovery had to be published in books. E-learning will open doors for people to get the required skills and academic qualifications to pursue their careers and dreams.
The effects of the introduction of the fast Zuku fiber internet in the market may almost be similar to the effect of the introduction of mobile money a few years ago.