Monitoring MNO - #ElectionsKE2017

Day 3 of the week - Week starts on Sunday - and networks seem to be feeling the pressure of almost everyone online - Dropped calls and numerous disconnection from the internet in Ruai, Syokimau, Ngong (Where I’ve experienced disconnectivity)

Was wondering why the network was so unstable in my area so took out our fan favourite tools:

  1. Speedtest
  2. OoniProbe
  3. LTE Discovery

Found ‘Safaricon 4G’ available in my area - Strange Enough

But it was SLOOOW. 3G speed slow - Remember, according to their advertising, it should be 40 Mbps and above, 100 Mbps if i’m lucky

So decided to do some tests and found this:

On closer inspection:


The ‘Error in Measurement’ was an inability to either access or measure results from, which I found strange - might be a glitch

We had discussions about Ooni Probe before but i’d lie members here to re-test on their specific networks and report back their findings.

My question is:

Is there possible tampering by the government/networks/independent parties?

PS: LTE Discovery collects A LOT OF INFO that can be used to DIRECTLY TRACK YOU so use responsibly.

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DO I read SAFARICON on one of your screenshot? How can such a reputable company get the name of the largest MVNO wrong? That’s a glaring oversight in my view and it would make me question a bit more than just their spelling abilities.

The network name on whois information is also a bit suspicious. I don’t understand why the name contains the initials of another Kenyan ISP (Jamii Telcom). Could someone have had a bad intention to name it SFC-JTL-POOL1-P2P? What a curious name.

Oh, you’re the one that wrote safaricon? Interesting.

Been on Telkom this while, everything’s been okay

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My Telkom Internet is also working perfectly speedwise now using it at Imara Daima. But 4G4Free imekula monthly bundles zangu twice in the past week which is so annoying. I don’t understand why inakula my monthly bundles when they are supposed to give me like 1 gig daily as they send an SMS confirming renewal of the offer daily. This never happens in Ngong. Maybe inapoteza 4G when I move about but I always confirm the connection when downloading big things.

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I’ve realized that on 4G4FREE, when you disconnect data then switch it back on consumption will switch to your bundles, same thing will happen when your phone automatically switches to 3G then back to 4G while mobile data is on.
The problem with this is that you can never truly know when data is being used on 4G4FREE or from your subscribed bundles. So my workaround is that i buy 20bob airtime, subscribe to 40mb @ 19 bob since they don’t have a data manager. I then subscribe to 4G4GREE and wait till my network switched to 4G before i turn mobile data on.
I have also noted that at around 12 midnight the 4G4FREE subscription goes off so if you have airtime or data u gotta be alert, you have to resubscribe to it while disconnected from mobile data. Same thing also happens in the morning at almost 9 am. So throughout the day just keep checking your subscription to 4G4FREE, especially if at some point you notice your airtime or data bundles are being used instead of 4G4FREE.
Do that while mobile data is disconnected then once u are sure that ur subscription is active wait for the network to switch to 4G before switching mobile data back on.
Lastly, it also helps if you open one tab on your browser at and keep on reloading and checking, so that you can know whether your bundles are being used instead of 4G4FREE


It’s impressive how much research you’ve conducted on 4G4Free. I didn’t know most of this. I think it is my fault then. I have set up my phone radio to use two modes. When data is on it have set it to use 4G and when it’s off I’ve set it to switch to 3G/2G. I noticed that when I turn data on, it starts by turning on data on EDGE or HSPA before quickly switching to 4G. I could set it to use 4G only but that makes me unreachable sometimes so I use a mode called 4G global where it’s allowed to use 4G/3G/2G. In this mode it stick to 4G like 98% of the time but it inevitably connects to HSPA albeit rarely. I’ll be more vigilant but it’s hard to make sure it’s 4G4Free I’m using and not my bundles. I think from now I’ll use your 40MB trick to keep using the offer. Thanks for the information.

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Karibu. I’m still hoping they implement the data manager. So many people’s complaints have made them decide to work on it though they are yet to implement it, both Telkom and Airtel

Data manager is only going to protect your airtime and not your subscribed bundles so people wishing to protect their subscribed bundles from 4G4Free are out of luck. Also, I don’t see them implementing the data management feature before end of this month when the 4G4Free is going to end. By the way a data management feature is mandatory for any network because it separates airtime from data. Therefore you can rest easy even if you have more than 1K airtime. Currently I make sure my line always has less than 50 bob and that is a loss for the network because I’ll tend to call/text less often because I know I don’t have much money in my account. They should make the data management feature a top priority for this very reason.

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I would like to see such regulations(link below) in Kenya.

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Such regulations would be a game changer in Kenya. But it would be fought by all telcos combined.

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This is an opportunity for an article explaining how data bundles work and why they expire. I have some notes let me share then with you :slight_smile:

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Got them! Thanks.

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We can’t wait for the article @sarunibm. Wacha nikuwe impatient kama hawa watu wanangoja results za #ElectionsKE2017

I don’t understand why our bundles expire na kwa nini of you want a Telkom bundle yenye itakaa 90 days your only option is 100GB which costs a ton of money.

That’s why it can only be brought by the communication authority which is the only body that telcos listens to when it puts its foot down. ICASA is the South African version of our Communication Authority. I think we need to picket at their offices for weeks before they can even think about thinking about implementing such rules.

Demos? Hahaha. Geeks are a lazy lot and I am sure they are the only ones who would be willing to go the extra mile to push for such rules.

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The article will explain both these questions and help you understand. I am sure Techweez is doing their own verification of the info + additional research so they have the most up to date info for the members.


yea, btw was doing some math on Telkom bundles., their most expensive offering is the 90 day 100GBs at 9k; which translates to around 11.37MBs at 1 bob, or 113.7MBs at 10 bob, 227.4MBs at 20 bob, 568.5MBs at 50 bob, or 1.137GBs at 100 bob. If you compare this with the other daily weekly and monthly bundles it’s actually the cheapest offering. Operators make a lot of profit on bundle expiry dates

Can this be a way to beat the system? Telkom says that if you buy another bundle before the current one expires then the data accumulates. I see that their cheapest monthly bundle is 150MB for 99 bob. Now, what if I bought the 100 GB bundle valid for 90 days and just as the period is about to expire I buy a tiny monthly bundle to extend the validity period of my huge remaining data balance. Would that not give me one more month to exhaust my data? Given my data usage patterns, I could use that 100 Gigs for a whole year giving me about 8 Gigs per month @ 750 KES. That’s incredible savings and I must try it out. This is tricking the system and I hope few people try it because Telkom might find out and change the system.

I have already tried it with the 4Gig bundle so it must work with the bigger ones as well. I just haven’t tried to extend a monthly bundle with a weekly bundle or the 90-day one with a monthly one. I’ll try it out when I get some 9K to burn.

Yes, you will extend the validity of your 90-day bundle but UP TO the validity of the new bundle. So if you extend it with a monthly bundle as you said, you will extend it by one month. So you will have to be doing so every month.