The number of mobile phone subscriptions in Kenya grew by 3.6 percent in the first three months to March to reach 34.8 million, the industry regulator said on Monday.

Photo: Neil Thomas/IRIN Kenya: A pastoralist Maasai shows off his mobile phone.
Photo: Neil Thomas/IRIN
Kenya: A pastoralist Maasai shows off his mobile phone.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)’s latest quarterly report for January to March says new subscriptions registered stood at 1.1 million from 863,803 registered during the last quarter, representing a growth of 34.5 percent.

“Mobile penetration expanded by 2.9 percentage points to reach 85.5 percent up from 82.6 percent attained during the preceding quarter,” CA said in the report released in Nairobi.

According to the report, the number of mobile money transfer subscribers increased by three percent to reach 26.7 million up from 26 million recorded during the last quarter while the number of agents rose to 126,622 up from 121,924.

During the quarter, Safaricom gained 2.7 percent and 11.4 percent pre-paid and post-paid mobile subscriptions respectively.

Safaricom’s total number of subscriptions grew by three percent to stand at 23.3 million up from 22.6 million subscriptions registered in the previous quarter.

Airtel experienced an increase of the number of post-paid subscriptions by 1.5 percent to stand at 151,286 subscriptions up from 149,020 subscriptions posted in the last quarter.

However, its total mobile subscriptions declined by 7.8 percent to stand at seven million.

Telkom Kenya (Orange) experienced significant growth in the number of mobile subscriptions, increasing its total customer base at 3.7 million up from 3.3 million subscriptions reported during the previous quarter.

The report says the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Finserve Africa (Equitel) which shares infrastructure with Airtel Kenya acquired a share of 1.9 percent of the total mobile subscriptions by registering 665,661 mobile subscribers during the January-March 2015 period.

“Equitel recorded on-net traffic of 2.3 million minutes during the quarter while the traffic to other mobile networks stood at 17.2 million,” CA said.

The entry into the market by the MVNO shows that there is still potential for growth and further competition in the mobile sub sector.

Data/internet subscriptions grew to 18.8 million up from 16.3 million subscriptions recorded during the last quarter, a growth of 14.3 percent.

Internet users, as a result, rose to 29.1 million up from 26.1 million the previous quarter. This raised the population with access to internet to 71.7 percent up from 64.1 percent during the last quarter.
Fixed network traffic declined by 11.2 percent to register 22.3 million minutes down from 25.1 million minutes realised during the last quarter.

The number of postal and courier outlets remained stagnant during the quarter and stood at 622 and 788 respectively. Enditem


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