BUSINESSNews

Mobile Subscriptions in Kenya Rise to 57 Million

...Safaricom continues to lose, while Airtel gains


The Communication Authority of Kenya, CA, has released the latest Sector Statistics report giving an overview of the general performance of the ICT sector. The report includes various categories from Mobile Telephony, Fixed Telephony, Data / Internet Services, to the Cyber Security Landscape and Postal Services.

The latest sector statistics report indicates growth in mobile subscriptions in the country between April and June. As of 30th June 2020, the number of mobile subscriptions stood at 57.0 million.

The latest figure indicates a 3.3 percent increase from 55.2 million subscriptions reported in the January to March quarter. That means there were 1.8 million net additions in mobile SIM subscriptions. In total, net additions for the fiscal year stood at 4.8 million in the quarter.

According to the regulator, the significant growth in subscriptions is due to consumers taking advantage of various products such as SMS and data promotion/tariffs.

Additionally, the government’s directive urging citizens to use cashless payment systems to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic and the transaction cost waiver for amounts equal to or less than KSh. 1,000 also played a key role.

Compared to the figures reported in the same period last year, subscriptions are up by 9.2 percent.

In the same period, mobile SIM penetrations in the country stood at 119.9 percent, from 116.1 percent reported in April. The mobile SIM penetration numbers have always been higher than the country’s population due to multiple SIM ownership.  And that figure continues to grow.

Mobile SIM penetration registered a double-digit growth of 10.7 percent year over year.

Losers and Winners

Safaricom maintained its majority stake in subscriptions, 64.2 percent, but lost 0.3 percent market share from the previous quarter. Airtel Networks Ltd and Telkom Kenya Ltd, in contrast, gained market share but by a measly 0.2 percent each.

However, Safaricom still grew its mobile subscribers to 36.9 million from the previous 35.6. Airtel boasts 15.3 million subscribers and Telkom Kenya has 3.4 million. Telkom Kenya saw its numbers grow by the highest percentage points in the quarter.

Equitel, on the other hand, had much to lose. It lost 1.7 percent of its subscribers from Q1.

Mobile Subscription Market Share

Safaricom leads with 64.2 percent, followed by Airtel(26.8) and, finally, Telkom with 6.0 percent to wrap up the best three. Equitel is still in the race too, but it lost 0.1 percent in the period closing June with a 3.0 percent share.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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