In Kenya Netflix is free, but to download a movie it takes 1 hour

It is a dream of many to have the catalog of Netflix without shelling out a single euro per month, but in Kenya the accounts must be made with the internet

Netflix announced in recent hours that it is going to open to the inhabitants of Kenya in a completely free way. That's right, for the East African nation's more than 50 million residents (less than half have an internet connection), they won't have to pay a subscription fee to watch a portion of movies and TV series from Netflix's catalog.

What's more, the streaming giant has announced that it won't ask you to enter a payment method when registering for the service, it will be open to all Android users over the age of 18 and it won't contain advertising, so, in fact, it will be a gift worth €7.99 per month in Italy - even though Netflix has already announced that it will bring about a quarter of its catalog to Kenya, you'll have to pay to see it all. But don't look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if the gift in question is also devoid of advertising.

In Kenya downloading a film is not easy

All is well, then. Well, not exactly. According to the latest calculations, Kenya ranks 126th in the world for internet speed, with an average download of 11.27 Mbps. This means that to download a 5 GB movie it takes one hour and 34 seconds.

In Italy, for comparison, the same movie is downloaded in 18 minutes and 36 seconds on average. But the context is quite different, and if we focus on the neighboring countries we discover that, after all, it could be worse, much worse: Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia occupy respectively the 222nd, 218th and 215th position in the ranking, which means that the inhabitants of the "triptych" to download the 5 GB movie of the example take on average between 7 hours (Somalia) and 9 hours and a half (Ethiopia).

In short, Kenya is doing well relative to context (its internet connection is on average faster than neighboring countries) but not great in the global context. Netflix probably knows that watching movies and TV series with such a connection isn't the best, and that's why it wouldn't find many users willing to pay a subscription for a service that wouldn't necessarily be the ultimate in comfort.

Netflix free on smartphones only

Those who have a better-than-average connection to the web will be able to consider whether to limit themselves to Netflix's free plan or switch to one of the paid ones, which "unlocks" the entire catalog and allows you to watch content on laptops and TVs as well (while the free one is limited to Android smartphones only).

"If you've never watched Netflix before - wrote Netflix executive Cathy Conk in a post on the official blog - this is a great opportunity to try the service. And if you like what you see, it's easy to upgrade to one of the paid plans to enjoy the entire catalog on a laptop or TV as well." Netflix has not disclosed how long the Kenyan initiative will go on, or whether it is considering offering a similar one in other markets.