The Communications Authority of Kenya reports that the number of mobile subscribers in Kenya rose 1.8 percent to reach 31.8 million in the first quarter of this year.In its quarterly review of the sector, the CAK said this trend is similar to those observed over the last two years where quarter-on-quarter growth has remained below 2 per cent. The same period of theprevious year had recorded a decline of 2.9 per cent.
Post-paid subscriptions have continued to record an upward trend with the quarter under review registering growth of 8.4 percent to reach 607,569 up from 560,503 subscriptions posted during the previous quarter. Mobile penetration grew by 1.3 percentage points during the quarter to stand at 78.2 per cent.
Mobile money transfer demonstrated an upward trend of 0.9 per cent to record 26.2 million subscriptions from 26.0 million posted in the previous quarter. Similarly, the number of moneytransfer agents increased by 10.6 per cent to stand at 103,660 agents.
Mobile Number Portability has shown mixed trends over time. During the period under review, the number of in-ports increased by 31.2 per cent to stand at 362 in-ports up from 276 in-ports recorded in the previous quarter.
Despite the growth in mobile subscriptions, there was a recorded decline in local mobile voice traffic of 2.7 per cent to post 7.6 billion minutes down from 7.8 billion minutes recorded during the previous quarter. Moreover subscriber average minutes of use was recorded at 80.3 minutes per month compared to 84.1 minutes registered in the last quarter. Similarly, SMS traffic declined by 1.0 per cent to reach 6.22 billion down from 6.28 billion messages sent during the preceding quarter. Thus, each subscriber sent out an average of 65.1 messages per month.
The number of fixed lines declined by 0.7 per cent to reach 204,354 lines from 205,856 lines recorded in the previous quarter. Fixed terrestrial lines stood at 56,103 representing a 1.6 percent decline from last quarter, while fixed wireless subscriptions recorded 0.4 per cent decline to 148,251 down from 148,823 subscriptions during the last quarter.
In the Internet/data market segment, the number of subscriptions grew by 1.3 per cent to reach 13.3 million subscriptions up from 13.1 million during the last quarter. Internet/data market mobile subscriptions rose by 1.3 per cent and continued to be the biggest contributor to the service representing 99 per cent of the subscriptions. DSL and fibre optic subscriptions grew by 4.4 and 2.8 percent respectively. Consequently, the number of estimated internet users increased by 1.9 per cent to reach 21.6 million compared to 21.2 million estimated during the last quarter.
Internet penetration stood 53.3 per cent up from 52.3 percent during the preceding quarter. The number of broadband subscriptions increased marginally by 0.9 per cent to reach 1.44 million subscriptions from 1.43 million subscriptions recorded during the previous quarter.
On the other hand, international internet available bandwidth increased to 865,714Mbps up from 862,473.9Mbps recorded in the previous quarter representing 0.4 per cent growth. Used (connectivity) international bandwidth grew substantially by 22.3 per cent to stand at 447,064 Mbps up from 365,413 Mbps recorded in the last quarter. Total used capacity represented 51.6 percent compared to last quarter’s 42.4 percent.
The number of domain names grew significantly by 9.1 percent during the period under review to stand at 33,381 up from 30,585 recorded in the previous quarter.