19 April 2013

Kenya: Smart Phones Push Data Growth As Broadband Tumbles

The number of internet users in Kenya increased to 16.2 million in the period between October 1 and December 31 last year, representing a growth of 11.6 %.

According to the CCK Sector Quarterly Statistical Report for Oct-Dec 2012, the number of Internet subscribers in the country rose from 8.5million in the 1st quarter of this financial year to 9.4 million by the end of December 2012, posting an increase of 11.5%. The number of Internet subscribers increased by 75.1% compared to same period in the previous year.

"Mobile data/internet continued to dominate the Internet market contributing 99% of the total internet/data subscriptions in the country," says the report.

Internet penetration went up by 4.3% to reach 41.1% up from 36.8% during the previous period. However, the number of broadband subscribers declined to 1,002,701 from 1,006,071 posted during the previous period mainly due to a reduction in the number of fixed terrestrial broadband subscribers.

The report attributes the growth in the Internet/data market segment to international internet connectivity (used) bandwidth that has continued to spiral upwards. During the quarter under review the international internet used bandwidth rose to 328,641 Mbps from 278,329 Mbps posted during the previous period, representing an increase of 18.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the total number of mobile subscribers in Kenya rose to 30.7 million, representing a marginal growth of 1.0 percent from the previous quarter. As observed during the previous period, the rate of growth has slowed down as the market appears saturated and tending towards maturity. Pre-paid subscribers continued to dominate the mobile sub-sector contributing 99% of the total number of subscribers.

Mobile penetration on the other hand increased to 78% during the same period up from 77.2% recorded during the first quarter. All mobile operators recorded positive growth in service subscription beside Telkom (Orange) which lost a total of 609,321 customers, representing a decline of 19.7% during the quarter under review.

The number of letters sent locally declined by 2.0 percent to reach 17.3 million down from 17.7 million letters sent during the previous period. Compared to the same period of the previous year, a decline of 11.8 percent was recorded.

The number of international incoming letters grew by 20.9 percent during the period to reach 191,672 letters from 158,549 received during the previous period. Similarly international outgoing letters reached 1.9 million from 1.6 million during the previous period, representing 18.1 percent increase.

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