The latest statistics released by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) have shown that mobile and Internet penetration in the country increased again between March 30 and June 30 this year, growing by 1.7 percent and 19.2 percent respectively.
The number of mobile subscribers in Kenya now stands at 29.7 million, increasing the penetration of mobile telephony services to 75.4 percent. This is a 17.5 percent growth from the 25.2 million subscribers a year ago.
The CCK attributed this growth to competitive tariffs, special offers and promotions offered to subscribers by operators. Airtel was the biggest winner from the increased subscriptions, gaining 430.726 new customers, an increase of 9.6 percent to just shy of 5 million. The largest operator, Safaricom, saw a decline in subscriptions of 67,719, a 0.4 percent drop to just over 19 million.
Essar and Telkom saw their subscriptions increase by 4.1 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.
Prepaid subscriptions continued to dominate the total mobile subscriptions, with the 29.4 million prepaid subscriptions representing 99.1 percent of the total.
Internet subscriptions rose to 7.7 million from 6.4 million in the previous quarter, a growth of 19.2 percent. Estimated Internet users has increased by 18.5 percent to stand at 14.032 million in the quarter under review, representing an annual increase of 11.9 percent.
Mobile data/Internet subscriptions rose by 82.7 percent in 2011/12 from 4.1 million subscriptions in 2010/11.
“The continued increase in mobile data/Internet subscriptions could be attributed to competitive data/Internet tariffs and special offers and promotions offered by the operators during the period and increased uptake of mobile data services and products,” the report said.
Fibre subscription registered 26.7 percent growth during the quarter, reaching 49,371 subscriptions, with satellite subscriptions falling by 34.1 percent, signaling further impact on satellite subscriptions by the rollout of fibre infrastructure across the country.
“The annual growth in the Internet/data market segment may be attributed to the increase in international connectivity bandwidth by 58.0 percent to 264,584 Mbps during the quarter under review,” the report said. “The used bandwidth represented 46.0 percent of the total available bandwidth capacity.”
Safaricom still has the highest market share by subscription in the sector on 68.7 percent but saw a reduction of 2.3 percentage points. Again the winner was Airtel, which gained a market share of 4.5 percentage points to control 14 percent of the market.