Mixed growth in Kenyan telecoms

The latest industry data released by the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates growth in some areas and a decline in others.

The report, released this week, said the ICT sector has continued to exhibit mixed growth.  In mobile telephony, the number of subscriptions increased by 5.6% to 32.2 million, while mobile traffic declined by 4% during the quarter to register 7.3 billion minutes, down from 7.6 billion minutes in the last quarter. Mobile penetration in the country gained 1 percentage point during the quarter to reach 79.2%, up from 78.2% in the previous quarter. The number of mobile money transfer subscriptions declined by 0.5% to reach 26.6 million, down from 26.7 million recorded in the previous quarter.

The number of SMSes sent during the quarter increased by 10.8% to register 6.8 billion, up from 6.2 billion posted last quarter. Each subscriber sent out an average of 71.2 messages per month, up from 65.1 messages reported in the last quarter.

The number of fixed lines continued to shrink with the quarter under review, recording 201,233 lines -down from 206,129 lines in the previous quarter. In particular, fixed terrestrial lines declined by 7.2 per cent and stood at 52,053, down from 56,103 in the last quarter.

The report said the continued expansion of 3G services is expected to enhance growth in the sector with technological innovations presenting platforms for a myriad of services, thus increasing the growth prospect of the sector.

The Authority said the upward trend in the data/Internet market was likely to continue as mobile operators continue expanding their networks thereby attracting more internet users. Furthermore, the increasing fibre optic roll out is likely to boost internet access in the country.

The postal and courier sector continued to record a decline in letter volumes. However, the courier sub-sector continued to show growth, which CAK saw as an indication that players in this sector could diversify their services and also capitalize on the nascent electronic commerce industry in the country.

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