Mobile phone users in Kenya cross over the 45.5 million mark

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[give_form id=”84046″ show_title=”true” show_goal=”false” display_style=”button” continue_button_title=”Support”]As at 30thJune 2018, the number of mobile service subscriptions in Kenya stood at 45.5 million, translating to an increase of 13.2 percent compared to the 40.2 million subscriptions recorded as at 30th June 2017 according to a new report by Kenya’s regulator, the Communications Authority.

This marked a 9.1% increase in penetration in the financial year.

Safaricom saw its subscribers rise 0.7 percent from the previous quarter to 29.5 million from 29.7 million while Airtel rose 11.9 per cent from 8.7 million to 9.7 million representing a market share of 21.4 percent against Safaricom’s 65.4 percent down from 72.6 percent. [inlinetweet prefix=”Safaricom PLC lost its market share by 1.6 percentage points, Airtel Ltd and Telkom Kenya gained by 1.7 and 0.2 percentage points respectively. Finserve Africa lost by 0.1 percent.” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Safaricom PLC lost its market share by 1.6 percentage points, Airtel Ltd and Telkom Kenya gained by 1.7 and 0.2 percentage points respectively. Finserve Africa lost by 0.1 percent.[/inlinetweet]

The total revenue earned by mobile service providers increased by 8.5 per cent to Ksh 252.3 billion in the past twelve months to June 2018 and voice still remains the dominant revenue generator at 41.7 per cent.

“It is evident that the revenue ratio of traditional mobile voice service is dominant at 41.7 percent of the total revenue,” read part of the report.

The value of investment made by operators rose to Ksh 41.52 billion in 2017/18 from Ksh 40.98 billion reported in 2016/17. The number of employees working in the mobile service sector increased from 6,907 reported last financial year to 7,016 in 2017/18.

While, the revenue from voice still contributes the largest potion of the total revenue, research predicts that data and mobile money services are more promising revenue streams for the mobile services providers in the future.   It probably explains heavy investments in the broadband infrastructure across the country and the quest for more financial inclusion.

High-speed fibre subscriptions doubled during the financial year 2017/18 to stand at 135,964 from 54,700 subscriptions posted last year driven by high demand for high video definition streaming and increased competition among service providers.

Broadband subscriptions continued to record an upward trend as witnessed in the quarter that ended in June 2018. The number of broadband subscriptions rose by 3.0 percent to 20.5 million up from 19.9 million recorded in the third quarter. The report  attributes the rise to  increased roll out of 4G network and expansion of last mile fibre network.  The demand for broadband services has also increased especially in driving the academic community, entrepreneurship and video streaming.   By the end of 30th June2018, broadband penetration stood at 43.9 per 100 inhabitants.

The number of active mobile money transfer subscriptions and agents stood at 29.6 million and 206,940 respectively. Similarly, 727.0 million transactions valued at 1.9 trillion Kenya Shillings were made between 1stApril 2018 and 30th June 2018. In addition, the value of goods and services transacted over mobile platform amounted to 1.4 trillion Kenya shillings. A total of 675.5 billion Kenya shillings moved from Person to Person.

The traditional mobile SMS service in Kenya has maintained an upward trend over the years despite increased us of over-the-top services such as WhatsApp.

This growth is mainly attributed to the competitive retail SMS tariffs coupled with lucrative SMS bundles offered by the various mobile operators. During the fiscal year under review, total on-net and off net messages stood at 66.8 billion marking an increase of 17.8 percent from the previous financial year.

The postal/courier sub sector also demonstrated its potential with private courier outlets increasing from 997 to 1,027.