NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – Kenya recorded one million new mobile phone subscribers in the three four months of 2012, representing a four percent jump in numbers, according to the latest statistics from the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK).
The number rose to 29.2 million mobile subscriptions as at 31 March 2012, compared to 28.08 by 31 December 2011.
CCK said the growth in mobile subscription was an indication of operators’ determination to continue growing their subscriber base and increasing access to mobile telephony services in the country.
At the end of the quarter, mobile penetration stood at 74 percent of Kenya’s population up from 71.3 percent recorded at the close of the previous quarter.
Safaricom got the lion’s share of new subscribers at 71.02 percent followed by Essar Telecom at 10.01 percent. Telkom Kenya – Orange – recorded a 9.52 percent jump, while Airtel Networks Kenya Limited had the lowest market share of 9.45 percent.
However compared with the previous quarter, Safaricom experienced the highest reduction in the market share by subscriptions of 6.13 percentage points, followed by Essar 1.02 percentage points and Airtel 0.55 percentage points, while Telkom is the only operator that recorded growth in the market share of 7.70 percentage points.
During the quarter under review, Safaricom Limited posted a market share by voice traffic of 77.3 percent from 77.9 percent recorded in the previous period. This represents a decrease of 0.6 percentage points that was gained by Airtel Networks Kenya at 0.4 percentage points and Essar Telecom Kenya at 0.2 percentage points; while Telkom Kenya’s market share by voice traffic remained the same at 0.8 percent.
In April 2011, the Commission introduced the Mobile Number Portability (MNP), a service that allows the consumers the flexibility and the convenience to retain subscribers’ numbers upon switching service providers. During the quarter there were a total of 6,646 in-ports up from 2,407 in-ports recorded during the previous quarter, representing an increase of 176.1 per cent.
But while the mobile telephony subscriptions continue to show a growth trend, the main fixed line (fixed terrestrial lines and fixed wireless) subscriptions continued to record a downward trend.
The number of subscriptions declined from 283,546 recorded in the previous quarter to 272,101 during the period under review, representing a 4.0 percent drop.
The fixed terrestrial lines declined by 11.2 percent to record 80,675 subscriptions, while fixed wireless declined by 0.7 to record 191,426 subscriptions at the end of quarter.
Meanwhile in the Internet market segment, the number of subscriptions increased by 5.5 percent, from 6.1 million recorded in the previous period to 6.4 million during the quarter under review.
Mobile internet subscriptions continued to dominate the internet market with 98.8 percent of the total internet subscriptions being from the mobile internet sub-market.
The number of Internet users rose by 4.7 percent, from 11.3 million users posted the previous period to 11.8 million users during the quarter under review.
Broadband subscriptions increased significantly by more than three-fold, from 131,829 subscriptions posted the previous quarter to 651,738 subscriptions during the quarter which represented a 10.0 per cent of the total Internet/data subscriptions.
CCK says the tremendous growth in the Internet/data market segment may be attributed to international connectivity bandwidth that increased significantly by 216.4 percent.