Number of SIM cards used for communication between machines rises to over 1.5 million

The number of SIM cards used to facilitate communication between machines (such as car tracking services) stood at just above 1.5 million as at December 31, 2022 according to the latest stats released by industry Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) covering the period between October to December 2022. This indicates a noticeable rise and difference from the previous quarter – that is the period covering July to September 2022 – when the number of SIM cards used for machine-to-machine communication was 1.43 million, translating to a percentage rise of 5.7 per cent.

The latest report has been compiled and is based on data provided by licensees in the ICT sector as per their license conditions and obligations. The information provided in the current report is also subject to review during the subsequent quarter in case of any revisions or updates from the licensees.

The Second Quarter Sector Statistics Report for the 2022/23 Financial Year provides the performance and trends in the ICT sector for the specific period in various areas, namely: mobile networks services, fixed network services, courier services, broadcasting services, frequency spectrum management, and electronic transactions and cyber space management.

According to the stats, Safaricom has the most SIM cards used in machine-to-machine communications (with 1,464,980), followed by Airtel Kenya (with 43,988 SIM cards), and finally Telkom Kenya with 1,268 cards being used to enable these communications.

During the period under review, the number of mobile subscriptions increased from 65.5 million reported last quarter to 65.7 million, representing a
penetration rate of 133.1 %. The number of pre-paid subscriptions stood at 64,446,162 (indicating 98% total SIM subscriptions) while pots-paid subscribers were 1,291,002 (translating to 2% total SIM subscription).

In terms of pre-paid subscriptions, Safaricom led the pack with 41.97 million users followed by Airtel Kenya with 17.55 million customers while Telkom Kenya cam third with 3.07 million subscribers. Finserve Africa’s Equitel network recorded 1.523 million users while Jamii Telecom had 332,585 subscribers. In the post-paid arena, Safaricom still controlled the bulk of the market with 1.19 million customers while Airtel Kenya had 91,668 subscribers. Telkom Kenya recorded 12,955 post-paid customers during the period under review.

“The uptake of mobile money services remained steady with the reference period recording 38.6 million subscriptions up from 37.4 million recorded during the previous period, representing a penetration rate of 78.2 percent. The total mobile data/Internet subscriptions stood at 47.7 million during the reference period,
out of which 66.8 percent were on mobile broadband. Data/Internet users have embraced higher mobile network generations such as 4G that offer faster Internet speeds that enhance customer experience,” states the CA report.

“The period between October to December 2022 was marked by a myriad of activities, which included the national examinations, long school holidays, Christmas and New Year festivities. These activities coupled with lucrative promotions and special offers launched by the various operators played a key role in driving the increased uptake for ICT services especially mobile voice traffic and data services. The government is strongly committed to the advancement of the digital superhighway and infrastructure expansion in its digital transformation agenda. The continued roll-out of the 5G network, coupled with the landing of the PEACE cable, will enable consumers to access super-fast Internet speeds, particularly in areas with high population density, and for linking connected devices, such as in manufacturing and healthcare.”


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