Kenyans making longer calls - CAK Report

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Robust marketing by telecoms and lowered call rates saw Kenyans use mobile phones more in 2013, the latest sector report shows.

According to the second quarterly sector statistics report for the year 2013-14 released by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), Safaricom, yuMobile, Airtel, and Orange subscribers made calls amounting to 29.9 billion minutes in 2013 up from 27.4 billion in 2012.

The report indicates that mobile subscribers have remained the greatest contributor of internet/data subscriptions accounting for 99 per cent of total subscriptions.

“The Internet/data market segment recovered lost ground during the period October to December 2013 to stand at 13.1 million subscribers up from 11.9 million in the previous quarter,” reads the report in part.

The 13 per cent growth was largely driven by the numerous promotions and special offers on Internet/data by the mobile operators as a strategy towards growing their market shares.

Mobile money market continued to record steady growth with the number of subscribers recorded at 26.0 million in December 2013.  Similarly, the number of active agents rose to 93,689 from 91,750 recorded in the previous quarter.

On the broadcasting front, local content in the form of dramas, news, discussions and documentaries is continuously being promoted while on the other hand, internationally produced music and movies remain more popular amongst the broadcasters.

The report also shows that subscribers are making longer calls. The subscribers increased their monthly usage to 84.1 minutes in the quarter to December compared to 79.6 in a similar period in 2012.

Similar to the growth trend observed in data/internet subscriptions, the number of estimated internet users increased by 11.0 per cent during the quarter under review to record 21.2 million users up from 19.1 million estimated in the previous quarter.

The mobile telephony sector saw a marginal increase in subscribers to 31.309 million from
31.301 million during the previous quarter. Mobile penetration remained unchanged at 76.9 per cent.

Fixed telephone services continued on a downward trajectory. The total fixed lines were recorded at 205, 856 down from 209,339 lines in the previous quarter while fixed wireless subscriptions declined by 1.2 per cent to stand at 148,823.

The postal and courier sector reversed its growth trend within the quarter under review registering increased traffic in both local and international incoming mails at 2.8 per cent and 10.0 per cent respectively. There was however decline in international outgoing mails.

This growth signifies that there is still demand for this service. Instilling customer confidence and offering outstanding customer service will make this sector more vibrant and competitive.

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