Kenya gets its first solar-powered digital TV set

The 16-inch screen TV comes with a radio, torch, two lights, phone charger and 20-watt solar panel. It features a built in decoder that will allow it to broadcast up to 26 digital channels.


M-Kopa says the TV can run up to six hours with the solar batteries fully charged.

The entire package goes for a one-off cost of $450. A payment plan of $1.25 every day for one year after an initial deposit of $80, is also available for new customers.

Existing M-Kopa customers with the solar panel, lights and other accessories will be provided with the new 20-watt panel and TV after making a deposit of $35. This will be followed by a daily payment of $0.5 for two years.

Payments are through M-Kopa partner Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service M-Pesa.


Speaking at the launch, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said, “M-PESA and Safaricom are helping make digital TV affordable and accessible for the first time for millions of people. I think M-KOPA’s innovation signals a fundamental change for TV audiences in Kenya. We are creating the genesis of a new economy based on clean energy that promises to include groups who have been previously marginalized”.

This is just one more product from the “pay-as-you-go” energy supplier that also provides solar home systems including LED bulbs, radio and charging ports for mobile phones.

Jesse Moore, Managing Director M-Kopa said that the solar powered digital TV is a huge leap for its customers who can now own something that everybody aspires to have.

The television sets are already in 500 homes with 10, 000 targeted for distribution all over Kenya by the end of the year. There are plans to make the TV available in Uganda and Tanzania in the near future.

M-Kopa boasts a customer base of over 350, 000 households in the East African region.


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