Business Technology

Kenya’s Mobile Phone Penetration Surpasses 100% Mark

Kenya’s mobile phone penetration crested the 100 per cent mark, says the Communications Authority of Kenya. It joins Morocco, Namibia and Tunisia, the only countries in Africa to achieve the milestone.

The first quarter sector statistics report for the financial year 2018/2019 by CA shows that the mobile penetration – the total number of active SIM cards calculated as a percentage of total population in the country – rose by 2.3 percentage points to stand at 100.1 per cent from 97.8 per cent reported last quarter.

The increase in mobile penetration was “mainly attributed to the fact that most users own more than one SIM card either from the same or different service providers,” says CA.

This is supported by Kenya Integrated Household Budget survey released in April by Kenya Bureau of Statistics which indicates that at least 30 per cent of mobile users in Kenya own more than one SIM card, translating to an average of 1.3 SIM cards per subscriber.

There were 46.6 million active mobile subscribers between July

During the period under review, there were 1.06 million net additions in mobile subscriptions.

Major players in the mobile subscription market include Safaricom, Airtel, Finserve Africa, Telkom Kenya and Mobile Pay Limited.

Safaricom PLCs’ market share for mobile subscriptions dropped by 1.2 percentage points during the quarter to stand at 64.2 per cent whereas Airtel Networks Limited gained 0.9 percentage points to post a market share of 22.3 percent. Telkom Kenya Limited, Finserve Africa Limited and Mobile Pay Limited recorded market shares of 9.0 , 4.2 and 0.2 per cent respectively.

According to the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS), atleast 30 percent of mobile users in Kenya own more than one SIM card. This translates to about 1.3 SIM cards per subscriber.

Meanwhile, the value of mobile money transfers have hit Kshs. 2 trillion for the first time. Here are some of the stats as released by the CAK:

  • Mobile Commerce Transactions: Kshs. 526.9 million (8.8% increase from last quarter)
  • Number of Mobile Transactions: 730 million (1.2% increase from last quarter)
  • Person-to-Person Transfers: Kshs. 718.2 billion
  • Active Mobile Subscriptions: 46.6 million (2.4% increase from last quarter)
  • Active Data Subscriptions: 41.8 million (2.7% increase from last quarter)
  • International Internet Bandwidth: 4, 623.30 Gbps (41.1% increase from last quarter)

Safaricom remains the dominant telcom. The market share stats stand as follows:

  • Safaricom PLC: 64.2%
  • Airtel Networks Ltd: 22.3%
  • Telkom Kenya Ltd: 9%
  • FinServe Africa Ltd: 4.2%
  • Mobile Pay Ltd: 0.2%

Sema Mobile Services, which is owned 50% by MODE, exited the market during this period. Mobile data and Internet subscriptions have also seen an increase of 2.7 percent and now stand at 41.8 million. The growth of e-Commece is expected to drive the demand for data and Internet services in Kenya in 2019.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende