Seven months down the road, Safaricom is said to have managed to sell a little over 1,500 Big Box devices. The device failed to take off as the Telecom had anticipated mainly due to the technical glitches that bedeviled its operations. It comes with TV recording capability, microSD slot for video, music, pictures playback, in-built SIM card used to buy Internet data plans and a USB port.
The early adopter consumers who bought the Big Box as soon as it rolled out soon started reporting technical problems with the device, such as the Wi-Fi function not being strong enough to connect devices in different rooms within the same house. The technical glitches prompted Safaricom to suspend the sale of the Big Box.
The Telecom seems to have found a fix for these issues and is now re-launching the Big Box into the market. Initially, Safaricom retailed the Big Box at a one-off payment of Ksh.9,999 or a down payment of Ksh.4,999 followed by a six-month installment of Ksh.999.
Safaricom has now slashed the Big Box prices and now consumers can buy them at a one-off price of Ksh.4,999 loaded with 3GB of data. Previously customers could purchase the Internet data bundles of 50GB at Ksh.4,000, 20GB at Ksh.2,000, 10GB at Ksh.1,500 and 6GB at Ksh.999. Safaricom new Internet data packages are 5GB for Ksh.1,199, 15GB at Ksh.3,199 and 30GB at Ksh.5,000.
Slyvia Mulinge, the Safaricom consumer director, defended the new prices saying, “We believe that the new price point will enable us attract a wider set of users to the product as it is now the lowest priced 4G Wi-Fi device in the market.
The new bundle prices have been adjusted slightly but still remain attractive and highly discounted compared to our regular mobile data bundle prices. These bundles are exclusive to the Big Box only and cannot be purchased for any other device.”
She also addressed the technical glitches experienced with the previous batches of Big Box launched in the market. Mulinge said, “We have consistently addressed technical issues over time since May and have been sending updates and re-testing with our existing customers.”