The number of internet users in the country jumped by 11.4 percentage points to hit 29.15 million, thanks largely to a steady growth of mobile data subscriptions. The latest Communications Authority of Kenya statistics shows 2.5 million new data subscriptions have been added in the market between January and March 2015.
“Mobile data continued to dominate the data market with the number of subscriptions registered at 18.6 million up from 16.3 million subscriptions during the last quarter,” states the CAK quarterly sector report.
The report indicates the new data subscriptions have pushed internet penetration from 64.1 percent last quarter to 71.1 percent of the population that has access to the internet.
Fibre optic subscription continues its upward trend expanding by 8.1 percent to stand at 87,828 subscriptions. This has been at the expense of terrestrial wireless data that registered a decline of 7.9 percent.
Safaricom (65 percent) and Airtel (18.5 percent) lost market share to fibre optic operators and Finserve (Equitel) which acquired 3.6 percent market share from 665,661 subscriptions.
Wananchi Telecom still dominates this segment with nearly half of subscriptions while Jamii Telecommunications saw the biggest gain in this category capturing 6.3 percent of the market up from 2.2 percent.
But the biggest change in the quarter was the international Internet bandwidth available in the country which grew by 117.9 percent to reach 1.6Gps from 0.7Gbps recorded in December 2014. The growth, which is attributed to additional capacity injected by TEAMS, was also reflected in the used capacity that jumped from 498,121 Mbps to 783,761 Mbps.
The CAK report also indicates the market added 700,000 new mobile money subscribers to hit 26.7 million total subscribers. According to Central Bank of Kenya figures, a total of 650 billion shillings was transacted between January and March 2015. Safaricom’s M-Pesa still dominates the mobile money market with over 20 million subscribers who contributed 20 percent of Safaricom’s revenue in the 2014/15 financial year.