, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Kenya’s mobile phone subscriptions grew by 5.6 percent over the last one year to stand at 32.2 million at the end of the 2013/2014 financial year fourth quarter, translating into a mobile penetration level of 79.2 percent.
The number of new subscriptions registered during the period was 416,390.
The Quarterly Sector Statistics Report for the period April to June 2014 attributes the growth to increasing demand for various mobile services and value added services across the country.
Safaricom still holds the largest market share at 68 percent with over 21.9 million subscribers followed by Airtel Kenya at 16 percent market share with over five million subscribers.
Despite the growth in mobile subscriptions, the total mobile voice traffic declined by 4 percent during the quarter to register 7.3 billion minutes down from 7.6 billion minutes in the last quarter.
Pre-paid subscriptions increased by 1.1 percent to post 31.5 million subscriptions from 31.2 million during the last quarter while post-paid subscriptions grew by 9.6 percent to reach 665,697 compared to 607,569 recorded during the last quarter.
“The post-paid service exhibited significant growth during the year; this could be attributed to the socio- economic disposition of the mass market which highly influences preferences. Nonetheless, pre-paid subscriptions formed the largest share of the total subscriptions base, contributing 98 percent,” the report stated.
The number of SMSs sent during the quarter increased by 10.8 percent to register 6.8 billion up from 6.2 billion posted last quarter with each subscriber sending out an average of 71.2 messages per month up from 65.1 messages reported in the last quarter.
According to the report, the number of mobile money transfer subscriptions declined by 0.5 percent to reach 26.6 million down from 26.7 million recorded in the previous quarter while the number of agents grew by 4.8 percent to reach 109,286 from 104,323 agents recorded during the previous quarter.
The number of Internet users increased by 3 percent to post 22.3 million users up from 21.6 million owing to increase in Internet subscription that grew by 5 percent to reach 14 million from 13.3 million.
“International Internet bandwidth available in the country declined by 2.1 percent to 847,464 Mbps down from 865,714 Mega bytes per second (Mbps) recorded in the last quarter. This decline could be attributed to the reported decrease in capacity by Sea Submarine Communications Limited (SEACOM),” the report states.
Access to Internet through the mobile phones and tablets maintained an upward trend within the quarter under review recording 5.1 percent growth to stand at 13.9 million subscriptions. Furthermore, mobile data/Internet subscriptions accounted for 99 percent of the total subscriptions.
Broadband subscriptions, including mobile modems and 3G subscriptions, rose to 2.9 million up from 2.3 million subscriptions recorded in the last quarter.
The report indicates that the upward trend in the Internet market is likely to continue as mobile operators continue expanding their networks thereby attracting more Internet users, moreover, the increasing fibre optic roll out is likely to boost internet access in the country.
In the postal and courier sub-sector, the number of letters sent locally declined to 11.8 million from 16.8 million letters sent during the last quarter.
International incoming letters increased marginally by 0.1 percent to reach 2.464 million while international outgoing letters declined by 6.3 per cent from 812,923 letters sent during the previous quarter to 761,315 letters during the quarter under review.