Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Kenya's Mobile Numbers Dip as Telkom Hits the Revise Button

Article Image
The number of mobile users in Kenya dipped to 38.5 million in the July-September 2016 period from 39.7 million in the prior quarter following a revise in the number of "active" customers on Telkom Kenya's network, according to the latest market update from the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Regulatory requirements specify that Kenya's operators report only their "active subscribers" -- those that have used a revenue-generating service in the past 90 days. In meeting that requirement, Telkom Kenya reported a dip in its reported mobile subscribers to 2.9 million compared with 5.2 million in the previous quarter.

That revision led to the decline in the overall number of mobile subscribers and a dip in Kenya's mobile penetration rate to 87.3% from 90% previously.

The move, though, provides a more accurate view of mobile user numbers in the country and is to be welcomed.

While the statistics look bad for Telkom Kenya, which now can only boast a 7.6% market share, it boosted the market share numbers of its rivals. As the chart and table below show, Safaricom is the clear market leader with 26.6 million mobile customers (69% market share), followed by Airtel Networks Kenya with nearly 6.8 million (17.5% market share). Telkom is still the number three player, followed by Finserve Africa with 2.3 million (5.9% market share).

Source: Communications Authority of Kenya
Source: Communications Authority of Kenya

Source: Communications Authority of Kenya
Source: Communications Authority of Kenya

The Communications Authority also noted that, at the end of September 2016, there were 31 million mobile money transfer subscriptions in Kenya. During the three months to the end of September, 400.6 million transactions (deposits and withdrawals) were made with a combined value of Ksh. 1.0 trillion (US$9.63 billion). The number of mobile commerce transactions made was 247.9 million with a value of Ksh. 447.3 billion ($4.3 billion).

In addition, the Authority notes that the number of fixed-line high-speed broadband connections remains low, but the number is growing, driven by fiber and cable broadband uptake. At the end of September there were 33,269 fiber broadband users (up from 27,571 three months earlier), 83,789 cable broadband customers (up from 77,310) and 2,582 DSL broadband customers (down from 3,063).

For more details, see this announcement from the Communications Authority.

Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Botlhale AI

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is South Africa's Botlhale AI, which creates conversational AI tools for African languages while helping businesses engage customers in languages they understand and trust.


SA's Teraco to power data centers with 120MW solar plant

Teraco, the vendor-neutral data center provider, is planning the construction of a 120 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facility in the Free State province of South Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: September 2023

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in September 2023 in the Middle East and Africa included more 5G spectrum licenses, vendor and operator strategies, and partnerships – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002