Internet in Kenya: A complete guide

Internet access in Kenya today is fast becoming a necessity. Entertainment, work and life all revolve around internet access in some way shape or form. More and more all the decisions that play into our more important decision start to matter when it comes to Internet access.

Net access in Kenya is dominated by a handful of companies. Some who primarily serve residential consumers, some commercial and a few both. With residential Internet the bulk of customers use Zuku Home Fibre which is provided Wananchi Online and Safaricom Home Fibre provided by Safaricom PLC.

Zuku Internet in Kenya

Wananchi Online is the provider of Zuku Internet Services which has both Home Internet packages as well as business packages. In addition to internet services, Zuku also offers TV, phone and Internet services bundles into what it calls Triple Play Packages. Zuku primarily delivers its internet via fibre optical cable over long distances and goes into the premises over coaxial cable (the ka white TV cable) depending on the service you have signed up for, location, etc. The coaxial cable run is seldom over 100 metres long so has minimal if any impact on service provided.

Zuku Internet Coverage in Kenya

Zuku Internet and Triple Play is available in Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa, with plans ranging from an affordable Kshs 2,499 for 5 Mbps internet only package to a deluxe 250Mbps Triple Play package with 98 local and international TV channels and 1000 Free airtime to all networks. Zuku is currently offering free installation inclusive of a Wi-Fi Modem and Digital TV Decoder.

Zuku Internet Prices & Bandwidth

The table below shows the current internet only and triple play package rates for Zuku

Internet Only

5 Mbps 10 Mbps
Free Installation Free Installation
Free Modem Free Modem
Add Kshs 499 to get TV Classic Pack Add Kshs 499 to get TV Classic Pack
Kshs 2,499 Kshs 3,999

Internet only packages are generally suitable for low internet usage households which is; mostly web browsing and standard definition streaming (720p) for one to three people. A single person could get away with HD streaming on the 5Mbps plan whilst two people can both stream HD on the 10Mbps plan.

Triple Play packages are where things get interesting, if you are a heavy user or live in a household with more than 3 people you are in the Triple Play League of 30Mbps and up. Concurrent streaming, web browsing and music downloads will be fine on any of the >30Mbps plans. See pricing below

Triple Play Packages

5 Mbps 10 Mbps 30 Mbps 50 Mbps 100 Mbps 250 Mbps
Free Installation Free Installation Free Installation Free Installation Free Installation Free Installation
Free Modem + Digital TV decoder Free Modem + Digital TV decoder Free Modem + Digital TV decoder Free Modem + Digital TV decoder Free Modem + Digital TV decoder Free Modem + Digital TV decoder
60 Local & Int TV channels 60 Local & Int TV channels 60 Local & Int TV channels 60 Local & Int TV channels 60 Local & Int TV channels 98 Local & Int TV channels
Free Zuku to Zuku Calls Free Zuku to Zuku Calls Free Zuku to Zuku Calls Free Zuku to Zuku Calls Free Zuku to Zuku Calls Free Zuku to Zuku Calls
Handset @1500 + 1000 Free Airtime to all networks Handset @1500 + 1000 Free Airtime to all networks Handset @1500 + 1000 Free Airtime to all networks Handset @1500 + 1000 Free Airtime to all networks Handset @1500 + 1000 Free Airtime to all networks Handset @1500 + 1000 Free Airtime to all networks

It should be noted that Zuku Home Internet and Zuku Business packages are different in very specific ways. Zuku Home Internet provides you with what is known as asymmetric bandwidth, that means that the download speed and the upload speeds are different. Zuku Home Internet prioritizes download speed over upload speed which makes sense for home internet as most of the activities are download based; Streaming, download, web browsing etc. Uploads, beaming your pics to the ‘gram’ are not a priority but will most definitely make it there, think a few seconds more at the most.

Zuku Internet for Business

Zuku Business packages branded as Zuku Office cater to Small and Medium sized businesses. Zuku Business provides symmetric bandwidth which means both download and upload speeds receive the same priority, so you get 20Mbps download and upload as opposed to 30Mbps download and around 2-7Mbps upload with the residential plans. In addition to bandwidth, Zuku Office also comes with a static IP address for an additional Kshs 1000 per month but is free with the top end 100Mbps Plan

Zuku Office

20Mbps 50Mbps 100Mbps
Free Wi-Fi router Free Wi-Fi router Free Wi-Fi router
Telephone headset at Kshs 1500 incl Kshs 1000 free airtime Telephone headset at Kshs 1500 incl Kshs 1000 free airtime Telephone headset at Kshs 1500 incl Kshs 1000 free airtime
Static IP address at 1000 per month Static IP address at 1000 per month Free static IP address

Zuku Office also has the option as adding the TV premium TV package at Kshs 1500 per month with additional set top boxes at 500 per month.

Overall Zuku is a solid Internet services provider in kenya with packages tailored for both Residential and businesses. Give Zuku a call, they are willing to listen and may customize the plan to fit your specific needs.

Installation

Customers that purchase 30Mbps and above and pay for the first month in full get free installation with an optional 1,500 extra they will receive a Zuku handset as well. Office packages also get free installation.

Payment Options

To pay Zuku Internet via Mpesa

  1. Go to MPESA on your phone
  2. Select Pay Bill Option
  3. Enter Business no. 320320
  4. Enter zukuXXX in account number where XXX is your Zuku account number eg Zuku123
  5. Enter the amount
  6. Enter your MPESA PIN and Send
  7. You will receive a confirmation via SMS

Payment reflects on Zuku within 15 minutes

To pay Zuku Internet via Airtel Money

  1. Go to Airtel, airtel money option on your phone
  2. Select make payments
  3. Select Pay Bill option
  4. Select Other
  5. Enter Business name ZUKUCATV
  6. Enter Amount
  7. Enter your PIN
  8. For Reference enter XXXXX where XXXXX is your Zuku account number
  9. You will receive a confirmation SMS

Payment reflects on Zuku within 15 minutes

To Pay Zuku Internet using Equitel

  1. Go to Equitel on your phone
  2. Select My Money option
  3. Select Send/Pay Option
  4. Select the account you wish to pay from
  5. Select others and Enter Business no 320320
  6. Enter account code
  7. Enter the amount
  8. Enter your Equitel PIN and Send
  9. You will receive a confirmation via SMS

Payment reflects on Zuku within 15 minutes

Additional payment options can be found on the Zuku website

Faiba Internet in Kenya

Faiba is a broadband internet service in kenya provided by Jamii Telecommunications Limited (JTL), a privately owned telecommunications company in kenya that initially started off as a carrier but has since branched into the residential and commercial internet service provider market. Faiba is one of the two “true” fibre to the home (FTTH) providers and the first to do it. Faiba is thus capable of delivering up to 1Gbps(1000Mbps) i.e. a lot of bandwidth to residential and commercial customers. The Faiba brand is split into both Faiba Home and Faiba Business products, on top of Faiba Business is the Faiba SD-Wan and Faiba Konnect service which further enables specific business applications

Coverage

Faiba Home & Business is available in Nairobi and Mombasa regions

Faiba Internet Prices & Bandwidth

Faiba Home is available in four packages listed in the table below;

30Mbps 50Mbps 75Mbps 125Mbps
Kshs 5,000 Kshs 10,000 Kshs 15,000 Kshs 20,000

The 30 Mbps package is suitable for a house of 4, you could get away with streaming 3 HD streams concurrently along with some web surfing or a single 4K stream. From 50Mbps and above you can enjoy 2 concurrent 4K streams along with a multitude of other activities on your home network. Above 75Mbps you have plenty of Internet to do with as you please however this is also the point where you must make sure that other devices in your network can handle it. Older wired devices typically can only connect at 100Mbps and older wireless devices (anything labelled 802.11b/g) only support bandwidth speeds of up to 54Mbps.

With great power comes great responsibility, although you have 125Mbps of internet, Faiba has a fair use policy in place that makes sure that you don’t abuse it. There is a pre-set data cap (around 20GB last we checked) which if you exceed, your link speed will be drastically reduced. The data cap is effective for 24 hours at a time and resets at midnight every day.

Unlike Zuku which is asymmetric in its bandwidth delivery, Faiba is mostly symmetric i.e. 30Mbps up and 30Mbps down, the reason I say mostly is that it is best effort meaning that is there is significant congestion in the area or on the network you may not see the exact speeds as advertised but this is true for any non-dedicated internet service.

Faiba Business Internet

Faiba Business offers more options in terms of bandwidth that the home product. The Faiba web page also includes several quick notes on how much bandwidth to select depending on the number of users you have and the services that you run in your business.

15Mbps 25Mbps 40Mbps 60Mbps 75Mbps 100Mbps
1 – 10 Users 11 – 20 Users 21-30 users 41-50 Users 41-50 Users 50 – 65 Users
Kshs 10,000 Kshs 15,000 Kshs 25,000 Kshs 30,000 Kshs 40,000 Kshs 55,000

Installation

Faiba installation is a standard Kshs 15,000, if its 10metres or 200metres it’s a standard fee. This works well if there is Faiba coverage in your area, but they have to extend the fibre to your home. Pro Tip: Faiba cables run on KPLC poles so have a look around and you might see some, the Faiba cables are black and look like phone lines in contrast to the bulkier cables that are Zuku fibre lines.

How to pay Faiba Internet

To pay Faiba Internet via Mpesa Paybill

  1. Go to MPESA on your phone
  2. Select Pay Bill Option
  3. Enter Business no. 330330
  4. Enter JTLXXX in account number where XXX is your JTL FAIBA account number eg JTLK123
  5. Enter the amount
  6. Enter your MPESA PIN and Send

To pay Faiba Internet via Airtel Money

  1. Go to Airtel, airtel money option on your phone
  2. Select make payments
  3. Select Pay Bill option
  4. Select Other
  5. Enter Business name pesapal
  6. Enter Amount
  7. Enter your PIN
  8. For Reference enter JTLXXX where XXX is your JTL FAIBA account number

Safaricom Internet in Kenya

Safaricom PLC is a mobile network operator and internet service provider in Kenya founded in 1997. Since the time it was founded Safaricom has risen to become the dominant telco in the country and region on the back of the revolutionary MPESA mobile banking service. Safaricom has since ventured into other services and markets one of which is internet service provision, a natural move since most of the world’s communication is now internet based. As with MPESA, Safaricom, with it’s significant war chest is poised to become a major player in the ISP space as well

Safaricom Home Fibre

Safaricom Home Fibre is the latest entrant into the field of residential internet access providers in kenya. Thanks to their considerable financial muscle, Safaricom has been able to deploy fibre to most of Nairobi as well as some coverage in Mombasa, Thika, Nanyuki, Kisumu, Kisii, Kericho, Kitale, Naivasha, Nakuru and Eldoret. Outside of business class and wireless connections, this makes Safaricom Home Fibre the largest residential ISP also having surpassed Zuku with 37% market share.

Safaricom Home Fibre is a true Fibre to the Home (FTTH) ISP, that runs fibre all the way into your home. This is significant as any future increases in bandwidth (which there always will be) are covered and will not require reinstallations in the future.

Safaricom Home Fibre has a Fibre only and a Fibre Plus plan. The Fibre plus plan includes additional Mobile Data, Call Minutes and Unlimited SMS across all networks. The unlimited SMS is no doubt quite appealing. The bandwidth packages on Safaricom Home Fibre don’t get up to the 125Mbps of Faiba or the 250Mbps of Zuku, both of which will undoubtedly be used by a seldom few, but has other benefits in that most buildings/apartments are now being hooked up with Safaricom Fibre, also the integration with Mpesa is as you would imagine, seamless. There is something to be said for having you phone line, payments, internet all integrated under one platform.

Safaricom Internet for Business

Safaricom Internet for Business is split into their SME offering and their Corporate offering, their SME packages are listed below. Their SME packages are not as generous as other providers based on what they have on their website but once one opens a corporate account, then things get interesting. The more bandwidth you get the cheaper it is of course and Safaricom has plenty of it.

Installation

Installation charges depend on whether the building already has Safaricom Fibre installed, they have a large number of installed buildings, if you are lucky the installation fee might be waived as they expand within Nairobi and throughout the country.

How to pay for Safaricom Internet

You can pay for Safaricom Internet conveniently from your phone using MPESA or USSD

How to pay for Safaricom Home Fibre via Mpesa

  1. Go to MPESA on your phone
  2. Select Pay Bill Option
  3. Enter Business no. 150501
  4. Enter your Safaricom Home Fibre or Internet for Business account number
  5. Enter the amount
  6. Enter your MPESA PIN and Send

To pay for Safaricom Home Fibre via USSD

  1. Dial *400#
  2. Select Manage your subscriptions
  3. Select your preferred package and make payment via MPESA

How to pay for Safaricom Business Internet via Mpesa

  1. Go to MPESA on your phone
  2. Select Pay Bill Option
  3. Enter Business no. 150501
  4. Enter your Safaricom Internet for Business account number
  5. Enter the amount
  6. Enter your MPESA PIN and Send

How to pay for Safaricom Business Internet via USSD

  1. Dial *400#
  2. Select Manage your subscriptions
  3. Select your preferred package and make payment via MPESA

Poa Internet in Kenya

A new entrant to the region and field, poa! Internet is currently the largest Wi-Fi network provider in kenya with over 10000 hot spots. poa! Internet was started in 2015 and is now in multiple locations in Nairobi, they offer public Wi-Fi and home broadband services. poa! internet also differentiates itself as it is a community focused ISP

Prices and Bandwidth

Compared to most wireless providers, poa! do not have data caps offering true unlimited internet usage. Based on their pricing they are also the cheapest internet provider offering with prices well below the regular fixed and wireless ISPs. poa! internet has their UKO poa! public Wi-Fi and home broadband products. Pricing is relatively simple for their public Wi-Fi

UKO poa! Public Wi-Fi

UKO poa! public Wi-Fi has no data caps within it’s time bundles meaning unlimited internet for you and their prices start at only KES 10 for an hour.

Duration Hour Day Week Month
Price KES 10 KES 50 KES 350 KES 1500

Home Broadband

poa! internet home broadband is charged at a flat KES 1500 a month for unlimited internet. They offer speeds of up to 4Mbps and charge a one-time KES 2000 connection fee. A home broadband package gives you access to the over 3000 UKO poa! Public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Coverage

Currently poa! Internet is available in Dandora, Dagoretti/Racecourse, Githunguri, Githurai, Huruma, Jamhuri, Kabiria, Kahawa, Kangemi, Kariobangi, Kasarani, Kawangware, Kiambu Town, Kibera, Kikuyu, Kinoo, Kirigiti, Lucky Summer, Ndumberi, Muthama, Mwiki, Uthiru, Ting’ang’a and Waithaka

Installation

Home and Business broadband connections have a one-time connection fee of KES 2000. Public Wi-Fi is accessed through the UKO poa! app available on the Play Store for Android. There is a brief signup using your number and you purchase credit via Mpesa. poa! Internet has the tujengane product that allows you to earn credits which can be redeemed for internet by referring new users to the app.

Hai Internet in Kenya

Hai is a product of Liquid Telecom Kenya (LTK), formerly Kenya Data Networks (KDN). Hai internet in kenya is targeted at small businesses and home users and offers three modes of connection depending on location. Hai-Waya provides fibre connections to homes and businesses with up to 100Mbps of bandwidth. Hai-Max provides a WiMAX connection with up to 2Mbps of bandwidth if fibre is not available in the area.

Prices and Bandwidth

Hai-Waya is available in five packages listed in the table below.

Basic Fast Superfast Turbo Turbo Plus
5Mbps 10Mbps 25Mbps 40Mbps 100Mbps
1-5Users 5-10 Users 10-20 Users 20-35 Users 35-100 Users
Kshs 5,650 Kshs 9,041 Kshs 16,952 Kshs 28,499 Kshs 77,637

The basic package is suitable for a house of 4, you could get away with streaming 3 HD streams concurrently along with some web surfing or a single 4K stream. From 50Mbps and above you can enjoy 2 concurrent 4K streams along with a multitude of other activities on your home network. Above 75Mbps you have plenty of Internet to do with as you please however this is also the point where you must make sure that other devices in your network can handle it. Older wired devices typically can only connect at 100Mbps and older wireless devices (anything labelled 802.11b/g) only support bandwidth speeds of up to 54Mbps.

Unlike other providers that are asymmetric in their bandwidth delivery, Hai-Waya is symmetric i.e. 30Mbps up and 30Mbps down which is great for cloud applications.

Where Hai-Waya is not available, Hai-Max most certainly will be. Hai-Max is a single package giving you 2Mbps for KES 5,650. There is an additional one-time cost for the equipment to be installed at KES 30,000 or can be leased for 1,500 per month.

Installation

The installation charge for Hai-Waya and Hai-Max are KES 15,000. Hai-Waya takes up to 5 days to install and up to 7 days for Hai-Max.

How to pay for Hai Internet via Mpesa Paybill

  1. Go to MPESA on your phone
  2. Select Pay Bill Option
  3. Enter Business no. 927633
  4. Enter your HAI account number
  5. Enter the amount
  6. Enter your MPESA PIN and Send

Internet Solutions

Internet Solutions (IS), formerly Access Kenya Group is an internet service provider that focuses on small businesses, corporates and enterprise customers. IS has a large fibre network within Kenya, partnering with other ISPs where they do not have capacity IS is able to cover most of the country either using their own network or riding on someone else’s. As a true corporate ISP, service level agreements (SLAs) are in place and their technical support is also very good. In addition to their fibre network IS also operates WiMAX base stations as well as Motorola Canopy (now Cambium) base stations for areas where fibre is unavailable.

Packages are tailored to each individual business and are dependent on the business location and needs. IS provides everything from MPLS to SD-WAN, colocation and beyond. Businesses also get and account manager and if you take enough bandwidth or have complex requirements you can be assigned a dedicated support engineer.

Telkom Internet in Kenya

Telkom Kenya, previously the telecommunications part of Kenya Post and Telecommunications Corporation is an integrated telecommunications provider in Kenya. Telkom Kenya has a vast fibre optic network that powers its large wholesale, carrier to carrier internet in Kenya and the region.

Telkom provides internet access to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, corporates and the government. Home internet is provided using their 4G network, whilst business internet over their vast fibre network.

Prices and Bandwidth

Home Internet Plans are based on data amount and have a validity period.

Data 5GB 10GB 25GB 40GB Unlimited 100GB
Validity 24 Hours 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days 90 Days
Price KES 249 KES 999 KES 1999 KES 2999 KES 3999 KES 5999

The plans and pricing are competitive with other providers, the only setback being the validity period though it can be argued that the unlimited plan at KES 3,999 provides as much value as fixed lines. An area well covered by Telkom’s 4G signal should get good value out of this but as with wireless connections, your bandwidth with vary based on location and conditions.

Telkom Business Internet

Telkom Business Internet is available both in fixed and wireless varieties depending on location. There are four business plans and a separated dedicated service that has an account manager attached to it.

Package SuperLite Lite Standard Pro
Speed 2Mbps 4Mbps 10Mbps 15Mbps
# Users 1 User 1-5 Users 5-10 Users 10-15 Users
Price KES 3,499 KES 5,499 KES 8,499 KES 13,499

An installation fee of KES 8,120 applies for all the plans.

[email protected]

Telkom’s has an internet service known as [email protected] targeted to the SME market that is available over copper (phone line), radio and fibre. Much like the Business Internet plans, there is a onetime installation charge of KES 8,120.

Package SuperLite Lite Standard Pro
Speed 2Mbps 5Mbps 10Mbps 15Mbps
# Users 1 User 1-5 Users 5-10 Users 10-15 Users
Price KES 3,499 KES 5,499 KES 8,499 KES 13,499

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