Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecommunications provider, today unveiled two new neon smartphones as part of its Lipa Mdogo Mdogo program, which allows Kenyans to pay for 4G devices in affordable daily or weekly installments.
The company introduced the Neon Smarta and the more advanced Neon Ultra models, available for as low as KES 50 per day at Safaricom retail stores or through the company’s *544# service.
“We are keen to enable more Kenyans to enjoy the transformative power of the internet by making affordable 4G devices available through Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, which has already empowered over 1 million Kenyans to upgrade from 2G feature phones,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC, in a statement.
The Neon Ultra features a larger screen and enhanced camera capabilities compared to the standard Neon Smarta. Customers who purchase either device through the pay-as-you-go service will receive bundled data and minutes throughout the repayment period.
Since launching in 2020, Lipa Mdogo Mdogo has helped drive 4G adoption in Kenya by allowing customers to upgrade from basic 2G phones to internet-connected smartphones via flexible payment plans. Safaricom has partnered with phone makers like Transsion, Samsung and Nokia to expand the catalog of devices available.
“Android’s goal has always been to democratize access by bringing the power of computing to everyone,” said Mariam Abdullahi, Google’s director of Android partnerships in Africa. “The uptake of Lipa Mdogo Mdogo since its launch is proof that affordability continues to be a key barrier of entry into the digital world.”
The new neon models aim to balance screen size, battery life, storage and camera quality at budget-friendly prices. Safaricom said the phones can provide users with reliable 4G access across its widespread network coverage in Kenya.
Safaricom said it remains committed to “bridging the digital divide” in the country through initiatives like its Mwelekeo ni Internet campaign. That awareness program promotes affordable data bundles and devices while highlighting the benefits of internet access.