Safaricom starts ring back tune service

Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph PHOTO/ FILE

The battle to control the data market in the telecoms industry has moved a notch higher with Safaricom joining two other operators in the launch of the caller ring back tune service.

Targeting the growing savvy youth market, the service branded Skiza, allows subscribers to choose a preferred song and set it as their ring back tune.

Speaking at the launch on Friday, Safaricom chief executive Michael Joseph said the unveiling of the service was part of the firm’s strategy to answer the needs of its growing subscriber base — the youth.

“We present you with a product that allows you to define your personality; who you are,” Mr Joseph said.

It will cost subscribers Sh25 per song a month and they get to choose the tunes by sending via SMS the code of the preferred song to 811. This can also be accessed from Skiza’s website

The growing data market is also a benefit for local musicians, as those whose songs will be in the catalogue will be paid rights fees, which is expected to be another revenue generation for them.

Skiza comes a few days after its competitor Zain Kenya launched a similar product known as Ziki.

Value-added services become a big differentiator in the local telecoms industry, at a time when average revenue per user (ARPU) are diminishing due to falling call prices.

Telkom Kenya’s commercial brand Orange unveiled a similar service late last year.