Safaricom’s market share for mobile subscriptions dropped by 1.2 percentage points during the previous quarter to stand at 64.2 per cent whereas Airtel Kenya gained 0.9 percentage points to post a market share of 22.3 percent according to the latest telcom industry stats from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
The latest figures, covering the period from July to September 2018, indicated that Telkom Kenya, Finserve Africa (operating as Equitel brand) and Mobile Pay recorded market shares of 9.0, 4.2 and 0.2 per cent respectively.
When it comes to new subscriptions for pre- and post-paid users, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya were the biggest gainers, recording 6.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent additions to their networks respectively even as Sema Mobile Services exited the market during the period under review.
Overall, the number of active mobile subscriptions (refers to a registered SIM card that has generated revenue within the last 90 days) in the country stood at 46.6 million, translating to a growth of 2.4 per cent when compared to 45.5 million subscriptions recorded as at June 30, 2018. Subsequently, mobile penetration (the total number of active SIM Cards calculated as a percentage of total population within a country) rose by 2.3 percentage points to stand at 100.1 per cent from 97.8 per cent reported last quarter.
“During the period under review, mobile penetration surpassed the 100 percent mark mainly attributed to the fact that most users own more than one SIM card either from the same or different service providers. This fact is also supported by the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) report released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in April 2018 which indicated that at least 30% of mobile users in Kenya own more than one SIM card, which translates to an average of 1.3 SIM cards per subscriber,” notes the report.
The International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) report titled ICT Facts and Figures Report (2005-2017), some developed countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Israel surpassed the 100 per cent mobile penetration rate as early as 2003.
“As at 2017, these countries had penetration levels of 121.8 per cent, 249.0% and 126.7 per cent respectively. Morocco, Namibia and Tunisia are some of the African countries that have already surpassed the 100% mobile penetration”, adds CA in the report.