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Battle for data customers intensifies as Airtel gains subscribers in Q3

Internet subscribers in the first three months of 2018 grew by 8.2 percent to 36.1 million subscriptions mainly due to the increased rollout of 4G network by operators and falling prices of smartphones/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 –    The battle for a pie of internet subscribers in Kenya continues to heat up as new entrants battle it out with established players in both mobile data and broadband.  

Official data by the Communications Authority of Kenya shows that Airtel gained 4.6 percentage points to grow its market share to 23.1pc while Safaricom data subscriptions declined from 72.8 per cent recorded last quarter to 68.4 per cent in the three months to March this year.

Telkom Kenya Limited posted a market share of 7.6 per cent down from 7.8 per cent reported in the preceding quarter.

Finserve Africa (Equitel) declined by 0.1 per cent to stand at 0.5 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

In fixed data, Wananchi Companies are leading in the period under review with a market share of 34.4 per cent with 112, 593 subscribers.

Safaricom is, however, gaining with its Safaricom to Home product with a 19.4 per cent market share, whereas Mawingu Networks came in third at 18.2 per cent and 59,754 subscriptions.

Broadband subscriptions increased by 10.9 per cent to stand at 19.9 million from 18.0 million subscriptions recorded under the period under review. Broadband penetration in the country stood at 42.9 per cent.

Overall, data/Internet subscribers in the three months to March grew by 8.2 per cent buoyed by the increased rollout of 4G network by operators and falling prices of smartphones.

During the third quarter of the FY 2018/19, the total data/Internet subscriptions grew to record 36.1 million subscriptions from 33.3 million subscriptions, translating to an 8.2 per cent increase.

“The market entry of new players and most especially in the rollout of 4G mobile technologies, which offers more reliable and faster mobile Internet speeds, has increased the Internet/ Data users in the country,” part of the CA report read.

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“The expansive rollout of LTE service by Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom and Jamii sites has resulted into increased access to and use of data/internet services in the country considering that 99 per cent of data/internet users are on mobile data,” it says.

The quarter under review posted a total of 35.7 million mobile subscriptions from 33.0 million mobile subscriptions posted during the previous quarter.

Fibre Optic data subscriptions increased by 14.6 per cent from 99,643 to 114,185 subscriptions during the quarter under review.

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