Increased access to network signal, product offers push mobile penetration to 112%

Increased access to mobile network signals and exciting product offers by operators continue to drive consumers to own more than one SIM card to take advantage of the diverse services, a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows.

The Sector Statistics Report covering July – September 2019 shows mobile subscriptions are on the upward trajectory standing at 53.2 million, and in effect, pushing the mobile penetration in the country to 11.2 per cent.

In the recent years, the Authority has also continued to put in place interventions to enhance access to communication services in various parts of the country. These include the voice infrastructure project that has connected 68 sub locations to 2G mobile services and the Education Broadband Connectivity project that has connected 887 public secondary schools to high speed Internet.

Data shows that 2G and 3G networks cover about 96 and 93 per cent of the population respectively. Additional efforts include enforcement of operator’s license obligations as well as licensing of additional frequencies that support mobile services.

The enhanced promotions and special on-voice offers also pushed the local voice traffic originating from mobile networks up by 10.4 per cent during the quarter under review to 17.8 billion from 16.2 billion minutes registered during the previous quarter.

Additionally, significant traffic emanated from roaming within the the East African Community (EAC) especially from countries within the One Network Area (ONA) regime that are enjoying relatively low calling rates, with the bulk originating from Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda.

The Authority in the latest report has also revised the its data on mobile money services, excluding data on Equitel Money, which is a mobile banking service as opposed to a mobile wallet service offered by telecommunications service providers. This reconsideration has occasioned the decrease in the number of mobile money subscriptions, the number and value of transactions as well as indicators on mobile commerce transactions.

The number of active mobile money subscriptions and agents stood at 31.2 million and 235,168 respectively. The period saw 661.6 million transactions (sending and withdrawals) undertaken, valued at over Kshs 1.7 trillion. In the same vein, there were 425.3 million mobile commerce transactions valued at Kshs 1.6 trillion. Person-to-Person Transfers were valued at Kshs 665.0 billion.

In the data/Internet segment, the total data/Internet subscriptions rose by 4.1 per cent to 52.0 million, from 49.9 million reported in the previous quarter. Mobile data subscriptions accounted for 99.3 of total data subscriptions.

This positive indicators can be attributed to increased population coverage of 3G and 4G networks, availability of affordable smartphones and data plans, and increasing consumption of e-commerce, e-government, social media and other online content.

The period also recorded a 14.2 per cent increase in the total International Internet bandwidth available in the country increased to 5,374.02 Gbps from 4,707.0 Gbps recorded in the previous quarter. This growth was mainly driven by activation of the 2 × 100G links of Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSY) to meet the ever increasing demand for bandwidth, according to the report.

The total utilized bandwidth capacity increased by 12.5 per cent to 1,508.61 Gbps from 1,341.3 Gbps recorded in the previous quarter.

The July-September period saw a marginal decrease in cyber threat events, with 25.2 million events recorded by the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team/Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC) compared to 26.6 million cyber threat events detected in the preceding quarter. A majority were malware, denial of distributed service (DDoS), web application attacks and system vulnerabilities.

As the trusted national point of contact on cyber security matters, the National KE-CIRT/CC analyzed the cyber threat events and issued 17,127 advisories, cyber threat advisories to the affected critical information infrastructure service providers.

In the postal and courier sub-sector, the number of letters posted locally dropped marginally by 1.8 per cent to 9.6 million letters, from 9.7 million letters registered during the previous quarter. Similarly, courier items sent locally stood at 602,538 from 885,862 recorded in the previous quarter.


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