The number of post-paid mobile subscriptions in Kenya declined from 1.4 million posted in the preceding quarter to 1.1 million subscriptions recorded during the quarter under review according to the latest industry stats from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). Pre-paid subscriptions, on the other hand, rose to 37.9 million subscriptions up from 37.5 million registered in the previous quarter marking a growth of 1.1 per cent for the period covering January to March this year .
Total traffic originating from mobile network registered a decline of 3.7 per cent during the quarter under review to stand at 10.4 billion minutes from 10.8 billion minutes posted during the previous quarter. Subsequently, the Minutes of Use (MoU) per month per subscription registered a downward trend to stand at 89.0 minutes during the quarter from 92.7 minutes recorded during the previous quarter.
The volume of local Short Messaging Service (SMS) registered during the quarter stood at 12.8 billion messages down from last quarter’s 15.2 billion messages sent representing a drop of 18.8 per cent.
“The significant decline in local SMS is attributed to the end of the busy festive season during which service providers had launched numerous special offers and promotions,” read the report.
The rapid expansion of infrastructure especially fibre optic saw an increase in Internet bandwidth that is available in the country to meet the rising demand.
Payments for goods and service through the mobile money transfer platforms hit Kshs 627.4 billion in the first three months of the year, demonstrating a higher appetite for the service as an alternative to hard cash and card payment.
According to the Communications Authority of Kenya sector statistics report for three months to March, the volume of transactions on this platform were recorded at Kshs 471.1 million with Kshs 1.1 trillion moved during the period.
Mobile commerce recorded a total of 290.5 million transactions. The number of mobile money subscriptions stood at 27.5 million subscriptions whereas the number of active mobile money transfer agents was registered at 174,018 up from 161,583 in the previous quarter.
According to the report, the growth in online shopping could fuel the volume of parcels sent in the near future and the relative ease of shopping online will open up opportunities to buy and sell from people and companies in other countries.
“The telecoms sub sector continues to be a critical element of the economy, laying the groundwork for greater investment in mobile money and as well as for ICT infrastructure growth,” read part of the sector report.
During the quarter under review, telecoms sub sector witnessed mixed trends with the number of mobile subscriptions increasing while the volume of voice and SMS traffic declining when compared to the previous quarter.
The number of mobile subscriptions stood at 39.1 million up from 38.9 million reported during the previous quarter translating to an increase of 0.5 per cent.
Mobile penetration dropped by 2.0 percentage points to stand at 86.2 per cent during the period from 88.2 per cent in the last quarter.
“This is attributed to the review of the country’s population to 45.4 million up from 44.2 million as per the Economic Survey 2017,” states the report.
The postal and courier sub sector demonstrated a downward trend during the quarter under review. The sector experienced a decline in the number of locally sent letters and courier items as well as International outgoing and incoming letters. This was attributed to the end of the high season during the period under review.