Kenya Internet users surpass 26m

By James Ratemo, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s quest to be a technology hub in the region is becoming a reality as its pursuit to hook its citizens to the Internet is bearing fruit.

The majority of Kenyans now access Internet via the mobile phones. Mobile penetration now stands at 82.6 percent.

The number of internet users in Kenya has grown to reach 26.1 million. This translates to 64.3 per 100 inhabitants with access to internet. 0020

Data/internet subscriptions grew by 10.8 percent to reach 16.4 million during the second quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, October to December 2014.

The mobile telephony sub-sector saw major changes with the exit of Essar Telkom (yu). The firm was jointly bought out by Safaricom Limited Airtel Networks Limited. This resulted in shifts in the market share for the remaining operators.

Despite this change, mobile subscriptions continued to grow by 863,803 new subscriptions to reach 33.6million subscribers in the country.

Prepaid subscriptions stood at 32.7 million up from 32.0 million subscriptions recorded during the last quarter while Post paid subscriptions were recorded at 854,283 up from 712,894 subscriptions registered last quarter.

Subscriptions in the money transfer services dropped by 5.3 percent to post 26.0 million subscriptions down from 26.9 million subscriptions recorded in the previous quarter.

This could be attributed to the market exit by Essar Telecom Limited (yu) which held 2.1 million mobile money transfer subscriptions by end of the previous quarter. 

The increased uptake of data/internet services has been attributed the massive investments by mobile operators and Internet Service Providers into base stations and the last mile fibre optic transmission links to support the increasing bandwidth demand in the country.

The increased uptake has also been attributed to the number of promotions carried out by various service providers.

The postal and courier sub-sector saw a decline of 5.8 per cent of letters sent locally.

There was a slight increase of 2.3 per cent in the number of courier items sent locally. Over the last five quarters, the number of postal and courier outlets has stagnated at 622 and 788 respectively.

Mobile number portability experienced a decline of 17.2 percent during the quarter to stand at 781 in-ports down from 943 in-ports reported last quarter. Similarly, when compared to the same period of the previous year, a decline of 28.7 percent was registered.

During the quarter under review, local outgoing mobile voice traffic lost by 8.1 per cent to register 7.3 billion minutes down from 8.0 billion minutes recorded during the previous quarter. 

This was in contrast with the same quarter of the previous year which recorded an increase of 5.5 percent.

On the other hand, the total local mobile voice traffic received from other local mobile operators declined by 8.5 per cent to register 7.4 billion minutes down from 8.1 billion minutes registered during the previous quarter. 

During the period under review Finserve a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) licensed in 2014 recorded on-net traffic of 1.6 million minutes during the quarter.

The number of local Short Messaging Service (SMS) registered during the quarter stood at 7.3 billion messages up from 6.9 billion messages sent during the last quarter representing an increase of 5.3 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year growth of 24.3 percent was realised.

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