Kenyans are increasingly adopting high-speed internet for their day-to-day socio-economic endeavours, according to the latest industry stats released by industry regulator Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
According to the sector report for the first quarter of the financial year 2016/2017 (July – September 2016), broadband penetration increased by 3.5 per cent to stand at 27 per cent up from 24.5 per cent in the preceding quarter.
The availability of high-speed connections have pushed broadband subscriptions by 10.2 per cent to reach 11.9 million up from 10.8 million. On the other hand, international bandwidth available in the country increased substantially by 17.2 per cent to stand at 2.02 million Mbps up from 1.73 million Mbps in the last quarter.
The period ending September 2016 also saw a decline in the number of mobile subscriptions from 39.7 million to 38.5 million, representing a 3 per cent drop. Subsequently, mobile penetration dropped by 2.7 percentage points to stand at 87.3 per cent down from 90.0 per cent in the previous quarter.
The Authority attributes the decline to adjustments in the reporting by Telkom Kenya to a regulatory requirement, which defines subscribers ‘‘as those who have used a revenue generating service within the preceding 90-day period.’’
‘‘The alignment saw Telkom Kenya report the number of active subscribers based on the prescribed 90-day period to comply with the regulatory condition,’’ said CA Director General Francis Wangusi in a statement.
The adjustment also affected the number of data/Internet subscriptions, which declined by 4.5 per cent to stand at 25.6 million down from 26.8 million in the preceding quarter. However, the Internet penetration remains unchanged at 85.3 per cent.
The Authority has consequently cautioned all the operators to adhere to regulatory requirements on compliance reporting in tandem with international best reporting practice. In order to determine the credibility of figures submitted to the Authority, Wangusi said the CA will undertake a compliance audit on the systems and procedures used by the mobile network operators used for submission of quarterly compliance reports.
The report records the number of mobile money subscriptions and mobile money agents at 31.0 million and 169,698, respectively during the same quarter. It notes that 400.6 million transactions valued at over Kshs 1 trillion were made. There were 247.9 million mobile commerce transactions amounting to Kshs 447.3 billion during the period. The value of person-to-person transfers was worth Kshs 474.5 billion.
In broadcasting, the report shows that the digital broadcasting signal currently covers 60 per cent of the Kenyan population. The number of free-to-air TV channels on the digital terrestrial platform stood at 63 while number of pay TV service providers on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) remained two; GoTV and StarTimes.
The number of digital Set Top Boxes purchased during the period stood at 226 Free-to-Air set top boxes; 90, 216 Pay TV and 4,024 Cable TV while the number of FM radio stations stood at 139.
Additionally, the number of postal outlets and private courier outlets remained at 623 and 1,599, respectively.