CCK this week released statistics related to the Kenya ICT sector, covering the period between October and December 2011.
As has been the trend over the years, mobile subscription in the country continued to grow positively, up from 26.49 million subscriptions recorded during the previous quarter, to 28.08 million mobile subscriptions. This number represents a total country penetration of over 71%. At this rate we could be looking at 100% mobile penetration , like South Africa's, sooner than the year 2016, should the trend continue undeterred.
It is interesting to note that while 89% of the total population has a form of mobile network coverage, this coverage is only as wide as 34% of the total land mass!
Conversely, more and more users are abandoning the fixed/terrestrial lines whose overall subscription has reduced by 20% to 283,546 subscriptions nationwide.
According to the report, total minutes of mobile traffic recorded have decreased, with the average minutes of use (per subscriber) declining to 79.9 from 89.3 minutes reported in the previous period. In a similar manner, the average number of SMS per subscriber per month declined from 17.42 SMS during the previous period to 10.71 SMS during the period under review. This decline was attributed to increase of calling tariffs by a key mobile network operator (MNO), Safaricom Limited. Regardless, Safaricom still retains majority of the mobile subscribers in the country with a strong market share of 66%.
Data services, on the other hand, are still very attractive in the market with 6,152,687 Internet subscriptions up from 5.4 million during the previous quarter. This actually represents an estimated number of 17.38 million Internet usersin the country i.e. internet penetration by these figures now stands at 36%, an unbelievable 95% increase from the previous year. CCK points out that this increase is as a result of vigorous promotion campaigns of social media services by the MNOs. In fact, over 98% of internet subscription is via 3G/EDGE/GPRS.
Another, aspect reviewed in this report is Mobile Money. There were 18.9 million mobile money transfers recorded while 70% of total mobile subscriptions are also subscribed to mobile money services. Moreover, there were deposits worth Kshs.176 billion made to 47,997 agents over those three months. The report states, “This rapid uptake of mobile money is an indication of the continued demand of the service particularly to low income earners who do not have access to banking services.”
In conclusion, the report believes that the tremendous growth rates of the sector should continue as the MNOs and other service providers continue to find innovative ways to maintain and increase their subscriber base. Operators will also continue “to leverage on new and emerging technologies to offer attractive packages aimed at garnering more subscribers to use this(internet) service.” The technology community of course, continues to capitalize on the massive opportunities presented by the different aspects of the Telecoms sector and contributes to its robust growth.
To read the full report, access it from the CCK website here