While emerging from the elevators of nation centre, one of my good friends and an occasional visitor to my blog said that I was pretty hard on the antics and shenanigans of celtel Kenya.

Well they have done something good with the so called celtel challenge. The programme works for the target group. In fact it did very well that some viewers majority who are in safaricom were said to be using their safaricom numbers to send text for the viewer participation section.

Hopefully these viewers will be shifting to celtel noting that they were receiving failure delivery reports. I have to retract my earlier assertions on the Celtel 3 bob offer.

With the recent promotion of free calls by safaricom, I have been forced to switch of my phone at night since I can neither call nor receive a call during the night. When the offer came, which it always comes with terms and conditions (you must have reloaded credit worth kshs 100 between 6am and 6pm).

This assumes that majority of the users spend on average 100 shillings per day and the offer may not have necessarily added any value to the average usage per person but may have made some customers writhing with anger on the congestion that has forced many to switch off their phones.

Was is it good ….mmm. My sources are telling me that they are doing their testing their new equipment especially the new 3G network. One thing that safaricom has been trying to sought has been the ever congested network. If the solve it I will leave on my phone at night.

The Ongea tariff was definitely a culmination of the various tariffs that found out that many people were comfortable with 10 bob through out but still quite expensive.

Back to celtel, mmm …. As I said this is a retraction. The three bob tariff is good and when you are in celtel you are or must be used with their inter-network charges which are to me the most affordable in Kenya. Surprisingly during the congestion of safaricom it was easier for me to call someone on safaricom using celtel than it was for me calling safaricom on safaricom.

So what should celtel do, move very fast from an aspiration network towards a tech-leader network. The mobile phone was seen as an aspiration device to many Kenyan now it is being used in many innovative ways.

I have always said that what celtel needs is to know what the mobile phone has done to the people of Africa. Since it’s unlikely for Africa to really go the industrial way, ICT will be the silver bullet. As such setting a trend with innovative products will provide consumers with ideas and new ways to use the service.

So for celtel while people are switching of on safaricom at night, if they get their act right 3 bob could be the injection that has been required.

Ask any Kenyan what three means and ‘mathree’ comes to mind. Maybe celtel’s mat is here and ready to take off.