It is estimated by the Kenya Audience research foundation in its establishment data 2015 that upto 70% of the Kenyan population lack access to television (TV) and a reliable source of power.
Based on this figure, global leader for “pay- as- you- go” energy for off grid customer M-KOPA has come up with a solution, the M-KOPA solar powered TV, which is aimed at boosting TV owernership in Kenya. This is especially in areas with no access to the national electricity grid.
Available in two ways, the TV comes as a “M-KOPA + TV” upgrade pack for existing M-KOPA customers and the second way is a larger” M-KOPA 400” 20W home solar system with TV, two lights, a torch, a phone charger and a radio for new customers. This package is available for a deposit plus a year of daily payments of Ksh .125.Payments made through M-PESA
The 16 inch digital solar powered television launched today is able to show upto 26 digital channels and can run upto four hours while still charging other solar powered items like the torch and radio. Without charging such items, it is estimated to run upto five or six hours. However, the lasting duration may sometimes depend on the climate change.
“What’s remarkable about the M-KOPA solar powered TV is it enables customers to turn the same KSH.50 per day that they used to burn on kerosene into a solar powered TV, we are literally turning dirty fossils fuels into a renewable digital, modern home” said M-KOPA CEO Jesse Moore, during the TV launch On his part Safaricom CEO
Bob Collymore noted that even while MPESA and Safaricom are helping to make digital TV affordable and accessible M-KOPAs innovation signals a fundamental change for TV audiences in Kenya.
With a total population of households with M-KOPA currently standing at 300,000 plus, increasing at a rate of 500 new homes every day, the firm has reported to have connected atleast 500 homes with the new solar powered digital television as it looks forward to connect atleast 5000 to 10000 homes per month and atleast 10000 above as the year goes on, depending on the demand.
According to the firm, Customers who have finished paying off their M-KOPA 4 payment plans will be able to extend their KES 50 per day plan to upgrade to TV from mid-2016.
Upon completion, the TV is free to own and power, with all the channels being free to air and they can enjoy without any ongoing bills.
Those with good credit standings with M-KOPA will receive a phone call or SMS notification to advise them on when they will be eligible to upgrade.
In addition to the above, it is important to note that M-KOPA currently provides installation services but plans are underway to ensure that clients can do the installations by themselves.