CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Kenya: Safaricom Increases Market Share As Airtel, Essar Tumble

Safaricom and Telkom Kenya recorded growths in market share as other mobile network providers tumbled in the recently released communications commission of Kenya statistics.

According to the statistics Safaricom gained 1.2 percent in the period between September and December 2013 to achieve a 67.9 percent market share while Telkom Kenya saw a similar growth to reach 7.2 percent.

Airtel Kenya witnessed the largest dip of 1.1 percent losing 348,918 in the same period representing a quarterly variation of 6.3 percent and could have resulted to the decision to replace former managing director Shivan Bhargava with Tigo's Edil El Youseffi.

Struggling Essar telecom also lost 0.4 percent market share with the departure of 118,961 subscribers who could have sought a safe haven as the company's acquisition reports continue.

According to the report the shifts in market share and witnessed growth is as a result of competitive tariffs by the network operators offered through promotions concentration on offering their customers a variety of services.

The gains by Safaricom and Telkom Kenya come even as the sector witnessed only a marginal 0.02 percent increase subscriptions' largely as a result of a decline in prepaid subscriptions while the growth in post paid subscriptions cushioned against a negative growth rate.

During the same period there were 900,000 new subscriptions in mobile money to reach 26 million with the report attributing this to the introduction of more value added services such as mobile banking.

The internet field also managed to recoup losses suffered during the last quarter to grow by 13 percent from 11.6 million in the last quarter to 13.1 million subscriptions.

This is largely attributed to offers by mobile operators who in some cases offered free data hence the 99 percent growth in subscriptions coming through the mobile platform.

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