I was warned about Zuku fiber, but it has been a great experience so far. Let me share it with you. Update: Two years on from when I posted this it is still going great. Read my recent answer to if you can use it for learning and new speed details here.
I’m poised to spend the next three months in Nairobi, as my executive editor will say, as the East African correspondent. Previous visits in Kenya have been brief or short. Maybe a few days, weeks or at most a month. So to be here for that long means I had to find a good workstation. Primarily for me this will be mostly getting a good, reliable and fast internet. Electricity too, but I think electricity is more stable in Kenya. As I’ve experienced few disruptions which last for hours or minutes.
Be Curious, ask questions
I always will encourage anyone looking to use a service to ask questions, listen to other users concerns before deciding. It might or mightn’t influence your final decision but you would have been thoroughly informed. Also bearing in mind several factors might make your situation different from theirs.
So i reached out to my techy, thoughtful friends and inquired of their opinions. What is the best internet service around? I asked around, talked to some internet service provider vendors and looked at my budget. First and foremost i wasn’t trying to break the bank. So i believed a fixed broadband service will be way cheaper than mobile broadband.
From my collated data, Safaricom will be the go-to service provider. A lot of consumers trust Safaricom to be reliable and fast. But it had a hurdle. Firstly, Safaricom home fiber service isn’t available around the neighbourhood i stay in. My only option was to get the Safaricom GIGA box; a 4G tv digital box with hotspot. Secondly, its GIGA box is expensive. You don’t get a bundled service. You pay for the box and then buy data as well.
So that wasn’t my way to go and somehow that seemed to be the issue with other providers like Faiba and Airtel. You buy the 4G router and then buy data. As a consolation, these others have lower data prices for much more data sizes than Safaricom. For reliability, I opted to get a Safaricom 4G sim card and hotspot from my phone. I didn’t see it worthwhile to get a 6,000 KSH or 9,999 KSH router. The only issue is I’m a big data user. Safaricom’s 10Gb weekly data bundle of 999 KSH finished before mid-week. My going for their free unlimited WhatsApp bundle proved a scam, lol, literally.
Why not Zuku?
I hadn’t looked into Zuku because I hadn’t seen any customer care shop in my hood. There was this one time i was returning from Naivas when I was approached by a Zuku sales agent. She gave me a brochure with Zuku data packages and pricing. My only question was, is Zuku fiber service available in this area and reliable? To which she replied yes. oh, I had a second question, how soon can this be done? As soon as you pay. Perfect! I then remembered that guest houses, Airbnb apartments and hotels I had stayed in during previous visits had Zuku and it worked very well for me. Zuku also had my attention with FREE INSTALLATION and Unlimited data. These sounded like music to the ears of a heavy data consumer. Technically most fiber internet services come with free installation. I was like bring it on.
So i called Doreen the sales agent i had met and spoken to and asked for the service to be installed in my apartment. I was ready to give it a try but not commit whole heartedly. Here’s why. A day to when it will be installed, i saw a tweet from another friend wishing Zuku good bye. I reached out and it was more like run away whilst you still can.
For me at that moment it was the better option; unlimited data for a month and i was ready to try an alternative. So i went in for the internet only (Zuku has internet, TV and phone call) service. I didn’t need the others. I have a digital smart tv and will only loose out on a few Zuku channels. The Zuku phone, calls other zuku lines for free but pays more to other networks per-second. I’ll pass, thank you.
The thing with African internet service providers is when they give you unlimited data they can’t give you a higher internet speed as well and vice versa. In testing the service I decided to go in for the Zuku fiber 5 Mbps internet speed package which costs 2,499 KSH.
Review using Zuku Fiber Home Internet
According to Zuku “the performance of Internet component of the Services depends on the number of concurrent users. And customer may experience degraded performance the more the number of concurrent users“. The internet speed has been what I paid for. Never exceeding 5MBps and never lower than 3MBps. I really don’t have to worry about this and even with heavy usage and a lot of devices connected it works great with a few buffering’s. I have concurrently streamed HD videos from YouTube on the smart Tv and streamed live sport on my laptop. Skype and WhatsApp video and audio calls have been excellent.
I have had moments during the night when the internet had blanked out on me but its returned shortly. I’ved had to restart the router if it takes more than 5 minutes. But i am yet to have to call support service for assistance.
I was suprised to recieve a Zuku customer care support call checking up on me after 4 days of usage. Wanting to know if service quality was great and if i had queries or needed any help. Good customer care relationship is always good isn’t it?
All in all, i think I made a great call and I’m saving. Hopefully, this rosy relationship doesn’t turn sour. If it does I will come and tell you in a post update.
Visit the Zuku website for more details on their packages, locations etc. If you want to confirm some other details or have the service set up for you call Doreen[0710 305 250].
Some take away. *Make sure the internet service is available in your hood. *Find out from neighbours if it works. If it sounds like it is half and half, see if the benefits are more to you and you won’t lose much. Then make up your mind about it. You can give it a month’s trial and if it works, good. If they become shitty and you begin to hate them, eeerrrr just move on, lol.
Update 2021: Included “Update: Two years on from when I posted this it is still going great.” to the post.
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