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Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

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London, United...
posts: 1
Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

Hello,

My daughter is going on a school trip to Nakuru and I just wondered if anyone might be able to advise me about what may be the best idea for her to be able to contact me back in the UK.

I mean, would it be better to bring a phone with her and buy a SIM there, or buy a phone and SIM whilst she's there (and if so, which network)?

There won't be daily communication (once she starts messing about with her mates, I'm sure I'll be the last thing on her mind), or extensive chit-chats, but I'd like there to be the option of us being able to contact each other nonetheless.

I'd appreciate any guidance.

Many thanks

Sean

20 replies to this topic
Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 1,705
reviews: 141
1. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

Hi Sean

Let her bring a phone from the uk, and buy a sim in Kenya. SIM cards are available at all shopping centers, and even at the airports. She will need her passport, and the one for safaricom costs less then £1. All she then needs is to add credit to it

Mombasa, Kenya
posts: 607
2. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

Just to add, calling from Kenya is cheap. If she buys an Airtel line and calls your landline, the call costs Kshs 3.60 per minute (see the conditions), Kshs 20 per min to a mobile line. From Safaricom it is Kshs 18 per min. Just for an idea ROE is approximately 125 - 128 shillings to a pound, so you can have nice chats and not spend too much if she finds time! :)

…airtel.com/wps/…

safaricom.co.ke/personal/international-voice…

I think Safaricom has a better coverage and is more reliable, but it is a personal opinion.

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
posts: 6,676
reviews: 13
3. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

Not a tetchy myself so I might stand to be corrected, but the handset needs to be unlocked before it will work with another network's sim. It can be unlocked in Kenya cheaply but its another thing for her to do.

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,441
reviews: 2
4. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

I bought a cheap unlocked Nokia in UK for £15 and it works well. I'd advise Airtel - very cheap to a UK landline. She could even buy Safaricom as well - more expensive to use - but if no Airtel coverage, she could switch sim cards. She shouldn't pay more than 100/- for a sim card and probably much less. They can be topped up with scratch cards (pay as you go is the most common way of getting airtime here). Easily available.

Texts are 10/- worldwide, so you can talk on Airtel for almost 3 mins for theprice of one text!!

Leeds
posts: 1,179
reviews: 2
5. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

Yep Tembofan - techy I feel you meant :-D

Phone needs to be unlocked (means it can be used with any network) and then use a Kenyan sim - I've used Safaricom previously and it was very cheap for all sorts of calls, texts and data (internet).

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 12,988
reviews: 45
6. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

You can buy a basic unlocked phone here from Fone Express in Nakumatt, Tuskys, etc for less than £15 sometimes as low as £8.

You can also get phones from the network shops for the same price but they will come with a sim and be locked to that network

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
posts: 6,676
reviews: 13
7. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

I hate predictive text. It says things I don't mean and makes me tetchy! Thanks Leeds_mad.

Mombasa, Kenya
posts: 607
8. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

The handset needs to be unlocked only if it is locked to a particular network in the UK, for example, if a particular tariff plan came with the handset. Otherwise there is no unlocking required.

And yes, one can buy a really cheap phone here, virtually disposable, if the idea is only to talk and not to browse Internet or chat on chat lines and social networks

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,441
reviews: 2
9. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

I know it is cheaper to get an unlocked phone here. The reason I suggested bringing it from UK is because this is a schoolgirl and I thought her parents would be happier to have it all arranged in advance so that all she has to do is get the local sim card for it.

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 30
reviews: 2
10. Re: Mobile Phone Usage From Kenya.

Like Tembofan said, some mobiles need to be unlocked especially if bought from abroad. I bought a handset in UK ,It was a Monte Carlo fon i couldn't use it before it was unlocked,I have done the same with a handset that i also bought in US. Sometimes it has a problem with getting the networks out there, There are good handsets and both the Safaricom or Airtel lines are sold in the shops or Supermarkets in Nairobi.

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