A solar-powered mobile phone has been launched by Kenyan mobile network operator, Safaricom. It is branded as Simu ya Solar and it has been manufactured under a partnership with ZTE, the handset has been made by them from recycled materials and it posses an in-built solar panel.
Simu ya Solar, also comes with a conventional charger. At all Safaricom shops countrywide it will be retailing at a price of Shs2,999 (US$40).
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said while speaking during the launch of the phone that the company has always been keen on embracing business processes and products that are environmentally-conscious.
Furthermore he said that the solar power is definitely the a good choice as it is cheap, green and renewable. This solar-charged phone will come in handy specifically in the rural parts where there is no grid electricity and even in urban areas, it is specially for those who are keen on saving on phone maintenance costs.
Moreover he said that their subscribers will not have to take their phones to merchants for charging and they don’t have to wait all day for their handsets to charge in order to make calls. Now they can talk all day and night without having any worries about the level of charge and charging costs.
Already Safaricom has got more than 60 Base Transmission Stations (BTSs) that are being operated on renewable energy sources wind and solar-driven turbines in various parts of the country. Safaricom House, which is the firm’s head office, is also fitted with motion-sensitive light bulbs that are fitted there in order to minimize the use of electricity within the office environment.