The mobile subscriptions market shares for Safaricom rose by 1.4 percentage points to stand at 64.9 per cent, whereas that for Telkom Kenya declined by the same margin to stand at 6.7 per cent between July and September 2019 according to the Communication Commission of Kenya’s (CA) first quarter sector statistics for 2019/2020 released recently.
During the period under review, the market shares for Airtel Kenya, Equitel and Mobile Pay remained unchanged at 24.6 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.
From a total of 52.17 million in June 2019, Safaricom had by September added another 1.07 million subscribers, translating to a total of 53.24 million users on the network. However, Telkom Kenya, which in June 2019 had 4.23 million users, saw this number drop by about 670,000 to stand at 3.56 million subscribers by September.
Overall, the number of active mobile subscriptions (SIM cards) in the country stood at 53.2 million as at September 30, 2019, up from 52.2 million subscriptions reported at the end of June 2019. This translated to mobile (SIM) penetration level of 112.0 percent.
The industry regulator, in the latest report, attributed the high mobile SIM penetration to the increasing availability and access to mobile networks signal and a variety of convenient mobile services.
“Available data indicates that at least 2G and 3G covers 96 per cent and 93 per cent of the population respectively. The Authority is driving a number of initiatives to close access gaps including; voice infrastructure and school broadband connectivity projects under the Universal Service Fund (USF), enforcement of operator’s license obligations and licensing of additional frequencies that support mobile services. SIM penetration in the country remains above 100 percent due to multiple SIM ownership among users of cellular services,” notes CA in its latest industry stats report.
Interestingly and even with the rise in country’s mobile penetration, the number of net SIM additions declined to 1.08 million during the period under review from 1.1 million SIM cards posted during the previous quarter just as had been witnessed in the last three quarters. The CA notes that this could be an indication that the market is almost reaching saturation in terms of uptake of SIM cards.