Kenya’s mobile subscribers continue to grow

TELECOMS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Kenya’s mobile subscribers continue to grow

By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has released its quarterly sector statistics report that shows the increase of 59,066 new mobile subscriptions in three months. According to the report, the total number of mobile subscriptions stood at 25.27 million at the end of June 2011. Kenya has a total population of 40 million.

Kenya’s mobile market is dominated by prepaid subscriptions, which represent 99 percent of the total mobile subscriptions. This quarter, postpaid subscriptions grew by 1.18percent compared to 0.02percent for pre-paid subscriptions.

From September 2010 to end of June 2011, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya (Orange) have recorded an increase in subscriber numbers by 148,063 and 11,527 respectively while Airtel Kenya and Essar Telecom Kenya Limited have lost 202,970 and 1,554 subscribers respectively.

Safaricom continues to lead the pack with a total of 17,353,186 subscribers followed by Airtel at 3,614,619, Telkom Kenya at 2,729,016, and Essar at 1,582,947.

Airtel and Essar lost subscribers despite reducing calling charges. Beginning October, Safaricom increased their calling charges by one shilling. Airtel on the other hand announced that it will not increase its calling rates against the backdrop of the current challenging economic environment with high inflation affecting the operational costs for companies and individual customers in Kenya.

Airtel recently relaunched its Airtel Money E-Commerce product with increased agencies offering cash deposit and withdrawal points across the country. It also launched the use MasterCard debit card, PayOnline jointly with MasterCard and Standard Chartered Bank that allows Airtel money customers pay for goods and services on the internet.

The fourth mobile operator, Essar, has waived transaction charges for its money transfer service – yuCash – by introducing a permanent free tariff for its users. As at the end of June 2011, the total amount of deposits made through the mobile phone was recorded at KSh 48 billion.

“The cost of living has really gone up and consumers are experiencing hard times to sustain their socio – economical lifestyles. As such, we are still focused on our low cost model which aims to ensure that communication becomes affordable to all. Our short term strategy is to ensure that our subscribers get to experience the brand,” says Madhur Taneja, yuMobile Country Manager. 

Telkom Kenya which operates under the commercial brand Orange has recorded a steady increase of subscribers over the past six months. According to CCK statistics, Orange subscriber base stood at 2,729,016 as at June 2011, having grown by nearly 600,000 since December 2010.

Mickael Ghossein, Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer attributes the growth to a strategy to increase customer focus has seen the firm consistently strive at finding innovative ways to meet existing and future customer needs. “Among other things, have in the past year enhanced our distribution network with the opening of new and well designed shops across the country and effecting positive changes to our customer care department through the training of staff and addressing queries effectively,” Ghossein said.

Telkom is looking at dislodging Airtel from its number two position and being the market leader in data services by the year 2015 through its new 21 Mbps network (3G) and High Definition (HD) voice services.

Calls made

The quarter under review reported 6.24 billion minutes of local calls made on the mobile network against 6.06 billion minutes reported in the previous quarter (January 2011 to March 2011).

Traffic across other mobile networks has continued to grow and by June 2011 it stood at 656 million minutes from 614 million minutes in the previous quarter, representing 6.9percent.  CCK attributes the growth in traffic across networks to tariff reduction that has subsequently seen a reduction in the on-net and off-net tariff differentials.

The quarter registered a decline of mobile to fixed traffic by 7.2%. The downward trend over the last three quarters could be as a result of decreased fixed line subscriptions. However, traffic from fixed to mobile networks increased to 47 million minutes from 35 million minutes reported in the previous quarter. The increase may be attributed to a continued in the mobile telephony subscriptions.

International incoming mobile voice minutes increased by 8percent and international outgoing traffic recorded 2.2percent increase. The continued upward trend in international outgoing traffic could be attributed to reduction in international tariffs. Operators are charging calls to the USA, Canada and China as low as KSh 3 per minute.

Data and internet services

By the end of the quarter under review, there were 4.2 million internet subscriptions. However, mobile operators continue to dominate the internet market with more than 98% of internet market share being through the mobile platform.

At 30th June 2011, there were 121,126 broadband subscriptions in the country, an increase of 35.9%. Although there has been gradual growth in the number of broadband subscriptions, the number represents only 2.8% of the total internet subscriptions.

Total international internet connectivity bandwidth increased to 32,270 Mbps from 20,119Mbps reported in the previous period – a 60.4% increase.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

MTN Ghana named Telecoms Company of the year

MTN Ghana emerged the winner in categories like Mobile Operator of the Year, Mobile Money Service of the Year, Customer Service Company of the Year and Cloud Company of the Year at this year’s Ghana Telecoms Awards.  Read More

Etisalat warns of disruption to network over fuel scarcity

Etisalat Nigeria has joined other mobile network operators (MNOs) in Nigeria to warn its subscribers that its services may start experiencing glitches due to the ongoing fuel scarcity. Read More

Nigerian fuel scarcity threatens telecoms

The ongoing fuel scarcity in Nigeria, where many enterprises rely on generators to stay operational, is threatening the delivery of telecoms services. Read More

NCC halts MTN’s new tariff plans

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has halted a tariff plan called MTN TruTalk+ saying it did not give any approval for such service.  Read More

Significant improvements in network quality for Tigo customers on Accra-Takoradi route

Following the upgrade of its Microwave backbone between Accra and Takoradi telecom operator Tigo says its customers along the stretch will continue to enjoy a seamless connection every time there is a fibre cut.  Read More

Airtel staff take to streets with ‘too much’ combo packs

A team of staff and management of Airtel Ghana has embarked a rigorous concentrated market blitz to promote the company’s newly outdoored innovative product – “Too Much”. Read More

WIOCC, Dalkom Somalia win service innovation award

WIOCC and its shareholder Dalkom Somalia have won the Wholesale Service Innovation Award at the Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Awards Summit 2015 for bringing direct, high-capacity, international connectivity to Somalia for the first time. Read More

UNGC renews Safaricom CEO term

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has renewed Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore’s term as a Board Member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).   Read More

ITU marks 150th anniversary with global celebrations

ITU celebrated its 150th anniversary on 17 May, marking a long and illustrious history at the cutting edge of communication technologies. Read More

Airtel launches MPLS for enterprise customers

In a significant move aimed at enhancing connectivity options for its corporate customers, leading telecommunications service provider Airtel Nigeria has launched a secure Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network aimed at facilitating superior and cost effective branch connectivity both locally and globally. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

The transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in GhanaThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana

Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.

IN DEPTH

NIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chiefNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief

NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.