Voice calls in Kenya drops even as mobile penetration grows to 115% - CA

By Victor Amadala, Kenya

Mobile penetration in Kenya has hit 114.8 per cent, this is according to the latest quarterly statistical report by the Communication Authority (CA).

The Q2 Statistical report released today also revealed that the number of active registered mobile money subscriptions has grown to 28.9 million and the number of active mobile money agents expanded 13 per cent to stand at 175,959. 

Safaricom’s M-Pesa continues to dominate the market share 98.8 per cent whereas Telkom’s T-Kash recorded the lowest market share of 0.07 per cent.

Safaricom PLC recorded the highest number of in-ports at 182, whereas Airtel Networks Ltd and Telkom Kenya recorded 57 and 20 in-ports respectively.

The total local fixed voice network traffic dropped by 4.9 per cent during the period under review to post 564,900 minutes, from 593,724 minutes recorded during the first quarter. 

The total local outgoing mobile voice traffic declined by 16.2 per cent during the period under review to post 14.9 billion minutes from 17.8 billion minutes posted during the previous period. 

This decline is attributed to the drop in on-net voice traffic from 16.1 billion recorded last quarter to 13.2 billion during the quarter under review. 

The huge decline in on-net traffic was occasioned by revision made by Airtel Networks Limited, which resulted in a reduction on its on-net voice numbers by almost half that of the last quarter. 

The justification provided by the operator was that they had been summing incoming and outgoing on-net traffic in previous quarters instead of providing outgoing traffic only considering that ideally only outgoing traffic is billed.

Similarly, mobile to fixed voice traffic declined by seven per cent to record 14.7 million minutes and this decline is attributed to the continued shrinking of fixed network subscriptions.

On the other hand, off-net local voice traffic increased by 0.5 per cent to post 1.73 billion minutes from 1.72 billion minutes recorded last quarter. Minutes of Use per Month per Subscription dropped to 91.5 from 111.2 minutes registered in the foregoing quarter. 

During the quarter, Airtel Networks, Safaricom PLC and Telkom Kenya revised their data especially that on mobile data subscriptions which account for 99 per cent of data/internet subscriptions.  

In this respect, the total data/internet subscriptions declined to stand at 39.6 million, of which 22 million subscriptions were on broadband.

Fibre-to-the-office/home data/internet subscriptions recorded the highest number of broadband subscriptions, whereas fixed wireless recorded the highest number of narrowband subscriptions.

The total international Internet bandwidth leased in the country increased by 16.1 per cent to stand at 6,241.84 Gbps from 5,374.02 Gbps recorded during the previous quarter. 

This increase is attributed to the additional bandwidth lit by TEAMS with an aim of meeting its customer’s increasing demand for bandwidth. 

The total utilized bandwidth capacity increased by 80.3 per cent during the quarter to stand at 2,720.26 Gbps, 35.1 percent of the bandwidth was sold within the country and 64.9 percent outside the country. 

The utilized satellite bandwidth on the other hand declined by 48.2 per cent to record 2.70 Gbps. 

The total number of domain names dropped during the period under review to post 91,940 domains from 93,003 domains posted during the previous period. This drop is attributed to the closure of businesses and other non-governmental institutions in the country.

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