Only Airtel Kenya posted an increase in voice traffic between April and June this year

Among the country’s four mobile network operators, only Airtel Kenya recorded an increase in voice traffic between April and June this year while the other three mobile networks – Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Equitel – posted a decline on their voice traffic. This is according to the latest industry statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) for the period covering April to June 2019.

During the same period, Safaricom also posted the highest market share of 63.5 percent in mobile subscriptions, whereas Mobile Pay maintained the least share at 0.2 percent. Further, both Telkom Kenya and Equitel gained 0.2 percentage points to post 8.1 and 3.6 percent market shares respectively.

The volume of local voice traffic originating from Safaricom reduced to 9.19 billion down from 9.8 billion minutes registered during the previous quarter. Consequently, the operator’s market share dropped to 56.8 percent from
59.9 percent. However, the telco’s cumulative voice traffic for the Financial Year 2018/19 increased to 37.4 billion from 34.6 billion minutes recorded during the previous Financial Year.

The originating voice traffic by Airtel Kenya increased by 7.7 percent during the quarter under review to post 6.3 billion minutes. As a result, the operator gained 3.2 percentage points to record a market share of 39.0 percent. Further, the operator’s total voice traffic grew significantly by 73.6 percent during the Financial Year to post 21.4 billion minutes.

The outgoing traffic for Telkom Kenya declined from 671.8 million recorded last quarter to 647.3 million minutes during the period under review. The market shares also declined by 0.1 percentage points to stand at 4.0 percent. The total traffic for the 2018/19 Financial Year stood at 2.6 billion minutes marking a growth of 14.3 percent from the
previous year.

Equitel recorded 30.9 million minutes during the same period down from 33.2 million minutes recorded last quarter. The telco’s market share however remained unchanged at 0.2 percent, the same figure it posted during the last quarter.

Overall, the total local mobile voice traffic originating from mobile networks dropped by 1.3 percent to stand at 16.2 billion minutes from 16.4 billion minutes recorded during the previous quarter. The ratio between on-net and off-net local mobile voice traffic stood at 9:1 during the fourth quarter.

However, the total local mobile traffic for the 2018/19 Financial Year grew significantly by 24.4 percent to stand at 61.7 billion from 49.6 billion minutes registered during the 2017/18 Financial Year.

The report shows investments in mobile sub-sector grew from Kshs 41.5 billion in 2017 to Kshs 57.5 billion in 2018. Subsequently, the service revenue from the mobile sub-sector grew by 9.4 percent to record Kshs 270.5 billion in 2018.

This positive outlook is further buttressed by the  Economic Survey Report 2019 indicating the value of the ICT Sector grew by 12.9 percent in 2018 to reach Kshs 390.2 billion up from Kshs 345.6 billion recorded in 2017.

Voice services continue to command the lion’s share of the mobile services at 39 percent followed by other services, which include mobile money services, interconnection and roaming at 33 percent while the  SMS revenue recorded the least share at 8 percent.

During the period under review, Safaricom recorded the highest revenue share for all mobile services, whereas Finserve (Equity Group’s fintech subsidiary which operates the Equitel brand) recorded the least revenue share in 2018.

In terms of employment in the mobile sub-sector, the number of people absorbed increased from 7,016 in June 2018 to 8,689 in June 2019 with the ratio of males to females standing at 3:2.

The report also shows the number of internet subscriptions stood at 49.9 million with 99.9 percent being on mobile data. This has been attributed to favourable government policies and dynamic digital scene. ”For instance, the rapid growth in mobile and Internet networks has created opportunities for development and deployment of innovations and e-commerce,” the report states in part.

As of June 30, 2019, the number of active mobile money subscriptions stood at 32.6 million, with the number of mobile money agents in operation standing at 290,432.

In terms of mobile money transfer services, 810.9 million transactions valued at Kshs 2.1 trillion were recorded during the quarter. Similarly, a total of 591.1 million transactions valued at Kshs 1.9 trillion were made through the mobile payment platforms (Paybill and Till Numbers) while  person-to-person transfers were valued at Kshs 770.9 billion.

The number of .KE domains increased to  87,807 up from 83,915 domains reported as at the end of March 2019 with the .CO.KE sub-domain recording the highest number of users while MOBI.KE recorded the least users.

In the broadcating sector, there was a marginal increase in the number of Free-to-Air TV stations which grew by 6.3 percent to record 86 stations from 81 stations recorded in the previous period. However, digital TV subscriptions declined by 7.1 per cent to 5.4 million during the quarter under review.

”The wane in subscriptions for digital TV is attributed to the increased uptake of streaming services especially among younger consumers, as more homes get connected devices,” indicates the report. The number of radio stations remained unchanged at 173.

The report also shows that the number of cyber threats increased two fold to stand at 26.6 million compared to 11.3 million incidents in the previous quarter. The spike  is as a result of the global increase in malware including ransomware.

The continued uptake of e-commerce also saw a subsequent 22.2 percent increase in the numbe rof courier items sent during the period to 885,862 items.

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