By Ronald Musoke
In a move geared towards improving energy and telecommunications access for millions of Ugandans who lack reliable electricity, MTN Uganda has teamed up with the US-based Fenix International and developed an ultra-affordable Pay As You Go energy solution designed to bring safe lighting, phone charging to its customers living off-grid across Uganda.
The ReadyPay kit is a multifunctional Solar Power System which includes a solar panel, battery pack featuring two USB ports and two car lighter adapter ports plus a range of lights and phone charging accessories.
Larger kits include radio or TV accessories while additional accessories like hair clippers or torches are sold separately.
The new product known as ReadyPay Power System which was first launched on Nov.18 in the northern town of Lira is available on a Pay As You Go basis using MTN Mobile Money and works like a phone top-up to enable the user make affordable and flexible payments according to their budget.
Initially the ReadyPay kits will cost Ush 40,000, including seven days of power.
The customer will then make top up payments from Ush 1,000 per day to unlock the power until their kit is paid off and afterwards, owners will access power for free.
“The amount one pays determines how long one can access the power. For example, on the most affordable kit, a payment of Ush1,000 will provide power for a day, whilst a larger payment of Ush30,000 will provide power for a month”, the MTN Chief Marketing Officer Ernst Fonternel, said before adding that the product is set to be rolled out nationwide early next year.
Talking about the key benefits of the product, Fonternel noted that the ReadyPay Power System provides bright, safe, reliable lighting without the risk of using kerosene lamps, and secure phone charging without leaving your own home.
“It’s easy to set-up; no technician is needed, and comes with an 18 month warranty. This is all thanks to MTN Mobile Money which means customers can make small, affordable payments until they own the system,” he said.