Safaricom’s mobile data bundles now come with free WhatsApp: Here’s everything you need to know about them

Safaricom has today refreshed its mobile data bundle offering to include free access to messaging application WhatsApp for every one of its customers who subscribes to any of its daily, weekly and monthly data bundles.

Besides WhatsApp, as you can see in the tables below, the various offerings have also been boosted while others have either been moved or scrapped off altogether.

The changes, which are already reflected via the company’s main data short code, *544#, and its mobile application, are permanent and not promotional or in effect for a set period of time. The company’s recent move to allow its subscribers to redeem their loyalty (Bonga) points for mobile data at a rate of 1 point for 1 megabyte is also permanent.

Subscribers of Blaze, Safaricom’s youth-focused sub-brand, have also not been left behind. Through the Blaze app (Blaze is available as an option in the main Safaricom mobile app) or the short code *555#, they can subscribe to either the 1GB per day for Kshs 100 data bundle or the Daily 20 and Daily 50 plans (see image below for clarity on what those entail) and qualify for the free unlimited WhatsApp.

Additionally, those who subscribe to its premium Platinum plans, are also getting free WhatsApp access with their existing subscriptions to either the Platinum 2K, 3K, 5K and 10K plans. In fact, as you will note in the tables below, Platinum subscribers are getting a big boost to their plans that include more data, just like the other subscribers.

According to Safaricom, the plan is to bring similar changes across the board meaning that subscribers can expect a refresh to other products that incorporate data like the Flex bundles in coming days.

The updated bundles and their corresponding rates and value add-ons are as follows:

For Blaze…

Those who go for Okoa 20, 50 and 99, which allow the subscriber to get 45MB for Kshs 20, 120MB for Kshs 50 and 450MB for Kshs 99, on credit respectively, will also be able to chat on WhatsApp unlimited should the bundles run out.

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Note

  • Unlimited WhatsApp works a bit differently from what Airtel Kenya has been offering under its Unliminet product. The unlimited WhatsApp only kicks in after the data bundle that one is subscribed to has been depleted.
  • So, say you subscribe to the daily 500MB bundle. The moment your subscription is confirmed and you start consuming data on your device, all of it, including any WhatsApp usage, will be deducted from the bundle you just bought. When you exhaust the 500MB, you won’t be able to use data (since you don’t have any, anyway) but you’ll still be able to chat with your friends, colleagues and family on WhatsApp for free. There’s another catch here as well. While the WhatsApp experience won’t be degraded after you exhaust your bundles, videos shouldn’t auto-download (because of the sweeping changes Safaricom has introduced aimed at helping users manage their data well) and where you have to download them, that will be slow.
  • The free WhatsApp is available to a subscriber for the entire time the data bundle they had purchased is valid.
  • It is also worth noting that the free unlimited WhatsApp is not available across the board and is only applicable for the data bundles mentioned above.
  • The 1GB for Kshs 99 per day bundle, dubbed “Giga bundle”, has been discontinued. In its place is the 500MB + 500SMS per day bundle for the same amount. The explanation given by Safaricom with regards to that change during a briefing session this morning is that according to their internal analysis, not many users were maxing at 1GB daily. The bundle, however, remains available on the Blaze network, for those aged 26 and below (or even older if you joined before turning 27).

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