Kenyan telco giant Safaricom has partnered with M-Gas to debut a Prepaid Cooking Gas service to the Kenyan market.
The service targets Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) communities.
The service will leverage the Narrow Band(NB) IoT network to deliver a smart meter which will monitor the gas payments and usage.
The product includes a gas cylinder and two-burner table top cooker. These are both provided together with the smart meter.
The setup will be installed at no upfront cost, however, it will only be available for use pending payments via M-Pesa.
Only then will the meter display how much gas the customer has bought, and then proceed to dispense the gas.
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Once the allotted gas portion is used up, the smart meter automatically disconnects the gas until the user tops up their payment.
If and when the Cooking Gas is depleted, the smart meter alerts the gas distributor, who refills the gas cylinder at no cost to the consumer.
Kenya recently established new regulations for the dealing of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), requiring retailers to obtain valid licenses from EPRA.
The new regulations saw many retailers shut down their gas vending businesses, which in turn has hurt consmers.
The Safaricom and M-Gas’ venture could go a long way in ensuring cooking gas is made available at affordable costs.
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