Kenya’s mobile phone subscribers up 6 per cent to 28.08m

The number of mobile subscribers in Kenya increased by 6 per cent to 28.08 million at the end of December 2011, up from 26.49 million recorded previously, the industry regulator said on Wednesday.
More people in the EAC region are embracing mobile phones . The New Times / File.
More people in the EAC region are embracing mobile phones . The New Times / File.

The number of mobile subscribers in Kenya increased by 6 per cent to 28.08 million at the end of December 2011, up from 26.49 million recorded previously, the industry regulator said
on Wednesday.

The latest statistics from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) released in Nairobi shows that during the same period, the number of Internet subscribers also increased by 13.48 percent from
5.42 million to 6.15 million between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.

“The increase in mobile subscriptions is an indication of operators’ determination to continue growing their subscriber base through tactful marketing approaches as a strategy towards customer acquisition,” CCK said in its Second Quarter ICT Sector Statistics for 2011/2012.

The report which covers Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2011, says mobile data/Internet market continued to grow steadily with the number of mobile data subscriptions dominating the total Internet subscriptions. “The
availability of this service on mobile phones and the popularity of social media such as Facebook, and Twitter could be some of the drivers of growth of this subsector.”

According to CCK, mobile penetration increased to 71.3 percent during the same period from 67.2 percent recorded during the first quarter. Internet has become an important tool of accessing information and communicating. Its usage has been on a rising trend with the quarter under review recording estimated 17.38 million users representing an increase of 21.55 percent from the previous period.

This, CCK said, translates to 44.12 percent of the population that have access to the Internet with majority accessing the service through their mobile phones.

“With the steady growth in mobile subscriptions, the growth in Internet usage is likely to continue as operators seek to leverage on new and emerging technologies to offer attractive packages aimed at
garnering more subscribers to use this service,” it said.

The regulator said although the international available bandwidth has increased more than 25-fold, from 202,720.02Mbps in December 2010 to 5,261,919Mbps in December 2011, its usage level, still remains very low with only 1.01 per cent of it being utilized.

“This indicates that a lot of potential still lies in this sub- sector and initiatives towards formulating policies and projects that encourage the uptake of this capacity are required,” it said.

According to the regulator, broadband subscriptions increased to 131,829, posting a 4.14 per cent growth from the previous period.

Of the total Internet subscribers in the country, broadband subscription represented only 2.14 per cent. Meanwhile, the total mobile traffic declined to 6.70 billion  minutes from 7.09 billion recorded in the
previous quarter. This represented a 5.5 per cent drop in voice traffic.

The number of SMS per subscriber per month also declined from 17.42 in September 2011 to 10.42 SMS by the end December 2011, representing a decline of 38.52 per cent. The telecommunication sector remains on a growth trajectory particularly the mobile sector that has witnessed positive growth over the years. The sector continued to expand in respect to subscription, a trend that is likely to be sustained in the coming periods as operators seek innovative means of growing their subscriber base.

Although there was a decline in mobile traffic volumes as a result of increased tariffs during the period under review, CCK expects that the coming periods may experience a reverse trend with operators keen on offering attractive promotional offerings likely to keep subscribers calling for longer periods.

 “In terms of other fixed/terrestrial wireless data/internet subscriptions, the Kenya Data Networks led the
pack with a market share of 33.48 per cent followed by Wananchi Telecom which had a market share 23.55 per cent,” CCK said in the report. 

CCK said the total local letters sent over the same period declined by 4.75 per cent from 20.57 million in the previous quarter to 19.59 million.

 

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