Kenya's mobile phone users up by 2.3%
07 November 2013, 08:17
Nairobi - Kenya's total number of mobile subscriptions increased by 2.3 percent to 30.5 million in the fourth quarter (June-June) against 29.8 million subscriptions recorded during the previous quarter, industry regulator said on Wednesday.
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) said the growth in mobile subscriptions during the period could have been as a result of new subscriptions as well as re-subscriptions by those subscribers who had been switched off in the previous quarter following a directive by the regulator.
"This tremendous growth could be attributed to the increased number of promotions and special offers provided by the operators during the period. Despite this major growth in post-paid subscriptions, the ratio of post-paid to prepaid subscriptions stood at 1:71," CCK said in the report.
CCK is working on new regulations that will see subscribers who do not register their SIM cards and agents who sell pre-activated cards liable for offence.
Current regulations only hold mobile phone service operators and their chief executives liable for the sale and use of unregistered SIM cards on their networks.
The new regulations will see agents take bio-data of SIM card owners and next-of-kin information.
The internet/data market segment registered a growth of 28.4 percent in the number of subscriptions to stand at 12.4 million compared to 9.6 million subscriptions recorded during the previous quarter.
The regulator attributed the increase mainly due to number promotions and special offers on internet/data by the mobile operators as a strategy towards growing their market shares.
The number of broadband subscriptions grew by 36.9 percent from the previous quarter to reach 1.39 million. During the quarter, the number or active registered domain names rose by 6.2 percent to reach 27,374 from 25,764 names recorded in the previous quarter.
Mobile money transfer subscriptions increased from 23.2 million in the previous quarter to 24.8 million in the quarter under review, recording a 6.8 percent growth, consisted with the positive subscriber growth patterns.
According to the statistics, three mobile operators recorded increases in the number of subscriptions, with Safaricom recording the highest growth of 724,686 with its annual variation of 5.7 percent.
It was followed by Airtel with 166,650 and an annual variation of 6.2 percent. Telkom Kenya had a quarterly growth of 4,460 (0.2 percent) while its annual growth reduced significantly by 31.7 percent possibly as a result of deactivation of subscribers that failed to register their simcards after the registration regulations that begin enforced in January.
According to CCK, Essar Telecom lost 195,710 of its subscriptions hence recording a quarterly decline of 6.0 percent which could possibly have been as a result of deactivation of unregistered subscriptions carried out between January and March.
The overall market share, which is measured by the number of subscriptions per operator, recorded marginal change during the quarter.
Safaricom maintained the highest market share of 65.9 percent, up from 65.1 percent recorded during the previous quarter, representing a quarterly increase of 0.8 percentage points.