Expanded markets by service providers and availability of affordable phones are some of the factors that continue to spur mobile telephony growth in the country. This is according to the Communications Authority report of the fourth quarter for the financial year 2016/17.

According to the report, the number of mobile subscriptions stood at 40.2 million, marking a 2.8 per cent growth from 39.1 million subscriptions recorded during the third quarter. When compared to the same period of the previous financial year, a growth of 1.2 per cent was realized. Consequently, mobile penetration rose by 2.5 percentage points to stand at 88.7 per cent up from 86.2 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.

However, this was a decline of 1.3 percentage points in comparison to the same period of the previous financial year. This is mainly attributed to the review of base population upwards to 45.4 million from 44.2 million as per Economic Survey 2017.

“The quarter under review saw only three operators’ record marginal changes in their market shares. Safaricom Limited registered an increase of 0.7 percentage points to stand at 72.6 per cent from 71.9 per cent recorded in the previous quarter. Finserve Africa Limited market share rose to 4.6 per cent during the period under review from 4.4 per cent posted in the third quarter.”

“Airtel Networks Limited registered a decline of 1.0 percentage points to record a market share of 15.3 per cent from 16.3 per cent. Telkom Kenya Limited, Mobile Pay Limited, and Sema Mobile Services market shares remained unchanged over the quarter to stand at 7.2 per cent, 0.2 per cent and 0.0 per cent respectively, ” read part of the report.

The total number of mobile subscriptions recorded by Safaricom Limited during the quarter under review stood at 29.2 million which marked an increase of 3.9 per cent up from 28.1 million subscriptions recorded in the previous period. The number of pre-paid and post-paid subscriptions was registered at 28.1 million and 1.0 million respectively.

Airtel Networks Limited posted a total of 6.1 million subscriptions down from 6.3 million registered during the preceding quarter. This translated to a decline of 3.4 per cent during the period under review.

Finserve Africa Limited registered a positive growth of 8.0 per cent to post 1.8 million subscriptions during the period under review from 1.7 million recorded in the preceding quarter. Likewise, Telkom Kenya Limited total subscriptions rose by 3.4 per cent to stand at 2.89 million from last quarter’s 2.80 million.

Mobile Pay Limited reported a total of 87,786 subscriptions during the period under review up from 86,724 posted in the previous quarter while on the other hand, Sema Mobile Services recorded a decline to post 263 subscriptions from 295 recorded in the previous quarter.