Almost all the people I know in Kenya have Safaricom mobile phone number. Most of the guys I know queued for some hours with the intention of owning a piece of this cash cow. The smart ones bought the shares online.

With slightly over a third of the population of Kenya (according to Safaricom), being a subscriber of the company, its more than likely that many eyes and ears were attentive when my good friend Michael Joseph stepped forward to give this state of the company speech.

The firm reported pre-tax profits of 15.3bn shillings ($196m; £126m) for the year to the end of March, down from 19.9bn shillings a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 15% to 70.5bn shillings, but its average revenue per user dropped 23% to 475 shillings. The media reports went on to paint a rather gloomy outlook.

Hmmmm… is this really so? Let me be the first one to say that this ain’t so and there is lots of money to be made in Africa’s telecom biashara (Swahili for business).

Let me remind you what I said back then (not sure when) that the ARPU of all the networks were going to get a hit if all they thought of is how we like talking and this may translate into longer talking.

Well the good news is that most of the users have been graduating fast from tech-stylists to now influential technology leaders. The number of curious innovations that are taking place in the back alleys of Nairobi, small rooms in the many estates is amazing.

Apparently someone leaked the notion to many users in the continent that; since now can be found by pressing the green key, the next thing on you mind should be ‘should I have something cool to say or something to sell’.
More dudes are thinking more of the latter.

Unlike in the western world the mobile phone in Africa is more a necessity. And it’s from this very indispensable device that we are seeing the possibility of bridging the many divides that are in this continent.

Mobile money transfer is such a scenario. Such services will definitely rake in revenues for the mobile networks. Probably the next thing is introducing the Internet.

It would be interesting to see if Kenyans will carry over their peculiar calling behavior into the World Wide Web.

The Communication Commission of Kenya has between 2 to 3 million Kenyans as users of the Internet.

3 out of every 5 Africans will get to know the Internet just from the palm of their hands and that is a huge statistic to think about. Now imagine what will happen if just half of the current mobile phone subscribers were to start being users of the net.

This region is set to experience average growths of 30% over the next four to seven years. And expanding networks with new products will undoubtedly bring in the dow.

MJ seems to be doing that as Safaricom looks for about 9 billion from the money markets. June is next week and cables should be finalizing for initial test runs.

If you are in telecoms, take a day off and visit your likely users in the back alleys and sprawling city estates, they may surprise you on what they do with your product.

I was surprised with what I saw my Nokia could do very surprised. To me the Safaricom profits were better than I expected


One thing I love about London is its centrality. Where as the weather sucks (no wonder all Brits have puckered brows), London has the enviable stature of having many first.

If you launch it in London then people will take it seriously. Well guys in Helsinki have been keeping most gadget guys and enthusiasts waiting for the Nokia N97.
Well the wait could be over for most of you. The exact date is not on my fingertips, but from the Pre-sales figures then Nokia guys have a sure product on its shelf ready for a very critical consumer.

While its profits may have shot down for most companies and job cuts everywhere, according to economists we may just be in the final throws of the world economic crisis with recovery on the horizon.

So probably to find out if there is an appetite for its products, the N97 Pre-sale orders have shown this consumer confidence and having this pre-sale thingy in London has may be shown this to the Nokia Execs.

To Tom, Dick and Harry in London or the UK; all I can say is that you are lucky.

It looks that the N97 will be in Nairobi at the earliest in mid to late July, why do I say so; the first shipment of the device will grace American shops in July and Brazilian hands in the same month. I could be wrong, I hope am wrong.
Well I can wait another month.

Thinking about it how come none of them marketing guys in Nairobi with the many consumers products not think of have pre-sale order programmes.
Being among the first dudes with the N97 in town ain’t such bad thing considering that they deliver the box to your door. Oh thats in London.

Damage expect to spend not less than 55k


Friday the 8th was a very interesting day for me. After it seemed to be one of those days it meandered into a boring day where friends meet to exchange stories on how the week was or how the economy sucks, I decided to have an early dinner and decided to walk down to River Road Nairobi.
We do have a river in Nairobi; some call it a stream of sludge, anyway which city river in this world is clean?

South of Moi avenue is where the action of Nairobi is. Its in this place that they found that dude that bombed our folks at the US embassy in 98. This is the same place that has majority of the car accessories and spare parts. So its not surprising to find all the whole sellers of gadgets and all that comes in this world. Let alone the strip joints.
So at around 6.30pm when the area starts bubbling with all manner of activity and people hawking almost all known products on this earth, I walked into Coast Dishes a favourite eatery for many travelers that are coast bound.

I ordered a plate of pilau(Asian rice dish full of spices and meat). As if by q one-man Mr. John walked in and told me that he had cracked into a software that can use triangulation in tracking someone if the person is using a mobile phone.
I said that sounds interesting but why on earth would you like to track someone down. Does the person owe you money or did he steal your girlfriend (he would be my friend). John became quiet for a while.

At a time when there are CCTV cameras on the streets, some toilets, metal scanners in every building and where you need to have a PIN number for everything even in raffle games.
Most of my friends switch their mobile phones on Sundays just for some peace and quiet.
I recently got a memo from my boss that said this ‘show cause why action should not be taken for not answering you phone when the office called’
I replied that I was off duty. The boss said am rude. Rude….. for heavens sake I was at my house spending quality alone time watch cheap B movies while farting. Can’t I do that with my mobile phone off?

Now comes this genius who can triangulate and pin point me to a metre or two. Why can’t we leave things the way they were. Just simple things, I text you, you text back; I call you answer. Now there is MMS, Nokia OVI is here, Google Latitude is the rave, but the best was this site and my I do not need to explain just discover:

Just as the topic was getting better a transformer outside blew up and I was caught in a dilemma, either finish my sumptuous plate or take off like everyone and not pay for the meal. I did both….. I shall pay tomorrow hoping that coast dishes will be opened.