Kenya mobile penetration passes 77%

Kenyan mobile phone subscriber numbers have passed the 30 million mark, says the CCK.

According to the quarterly statistics report for the first quarter of the 2012/13 Financial Year (July – September 2012), released by Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) this week, the market had 30.4 million mobile subscribers as at 30th September 2012, up from 29.7 million in the three months preceding July 2012. Kenya now boasts a mobile penetration of 77.2%.

The report notes the increase in use of the phones for voice calls and short messaging services, compared to the previous quarter.

Between July and September 2012 a total of 7.0 billion minutes of calls were made on the mobile networks up from 6.3 billion minutes recorded in the previous period representing an increase of 10.5%. The [average] cumulative Minutes of Use (MoU) per subscriber per month increased to 76.7, up from 71.2 in the previous quarter. The increase in MoU during the period indicates that subscribers were able to make longer or more calls. Similarly, a total of 1.0 billion SMS were sent in the quarter compared to 986 million in the previous period representing a 10.1% increase.

A higher volume of mobile money transactions was also recorded indicating the increased popularity of mobile money transfer services.  This was noted from the Ksh.205 billion deposits made, up from Ksh 192 billion.  The increase represents 6.7% growth between the two consecutive quarters.

On the other hand, the fixed line sector was continually plagued by stiff competition from the mobile sector, vandalism of copper cables and high maintenance costs.  This was evident in the downward trend which saw a 5.5 per cent decline in the number of fixed lines. The total fixed line (fixed terrestrial lines and fixed wireless) subscriptions recorded were 248,300, down from 262,711 in the previous quarter.

The uptake of data/internet services continued to display an upward trend, with 34.2% of the population accessing the internet mainly via the mobile phone. The number of internet subscriptions rose to 8.5 million, up from 7.7 million in the previous quarter representing a 10.2% increase.  In total, the estimated number of internet users stood at 13.53 million. It was however noted that despite the increase in internet/data subscriptions during the period, bandwidth utilization only increased marginally by 0.3% during the quarter.  The utilization in the quarter stood at 48.3%.  The unexploited capacity demonstrates the great potential that still exists in the internet /data market segment, CCK said.

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