How many people own or can afford a high end to mid range phone in Kenya? The mid range that you are talking about is probably worth over 20k(Samsung Galaxy A5/A7, Huawei P8) for it to have support for both the 700MHz(APT) and the 800. Most devices come with the 800MHz and for a good reason-most networks in MEA are based on the 800MHz rather than the 700MHz. This creates demand for phones that support the 800MHz and this demand enables manufacturers to have economies of scale. This translates to cheaper devices. So you can get a device like the Huawei y560 that supports the 800MHz for less than 10k. The only band more popular than the 800MHz is the 1800MHz.
Its hard to get a phone meant for the MEA region that only supports the 700MHz. So if you are interested in the 700MHz(JTL) you have find a device that supports both the 700 and 800MHz-which you can only get with the expensive mid range to high end devices
Once operators launch LTE on the 700MHz, then we might see more devices with the 700MHz at cheaper price points. The only regions where the 700MHz is the most popular band are the Americas. However, you can’t simply take a device from the U.S and use it in Kenya. Their 700 LTE networks have a different band plan so their devices will be incompatible with our 700 networks.
The device ecosystem for the 800MHz stretches from the low end to the high end while for the 700MHz it starts from mid end/range to high end. That’s why i’m saying the device ecosystem for the 700MHz is not the best.
That’s also the reason why i’m saying at first they might target the homes/stationary use-modems, STB(they can update their Faiba android box) etc which are not very expensive.
Those smile bundles are ridiculous.