Kenya is leading globally in share of internet traffic coming from mobile phones overtaking Nigeria, which was at the top in 2017.
At 83 per cent, Kenya is now at the top, with Nigeria coming in second at 81 per cent.
This has been attributed to the country's high level of smartphones penetration rate which recently surpassed the 40 million mobile subscriptions in 2017 and stands at 41 million (+3 per cent), with reach at 90.4 per cent of the adult population.
Other leading countries include India (79 per cent), Singapore (78 per cent), Ghana (75 per cent), Indonesia (72 per cent), South Africa (71 per cent), Thailand (69 per cent), Saudi Arabia (64 per cent), Turkey (62 per cent), China (61 per cent), UAE (61 per cent), Poland (59 per cent), Malaysia (57 per cent), and the rest of the world at 52 per cent.
A marketplace report by online shop named Jumia Mobile Week White Paper - 2018, shows that high mobile penetration has been driven by the entry of aggressive firms, such as Hong Kong-based Transsion Holdings.
Transsion is the largest smartphone company by sales in Africa, and also has a presence in India. Its brands include Tecno Mobile, Itel and infinix.
According to Jumia Kenya, Transsion continued to hold the top spot during the fourth quarter of 2017 in a report released by International Data Corporation (IDC) as the biggest smartphone and feature phone vendor in Kenya with a staggering 58 per cent and 63 per cent market share respectively by volume.
Whilst Tecno and Infinix dominate the smartphone segment, Tenco and Itel lead the feature phone segment.
Samsung has a 17 per cent market share by volume driven by its economically priced J-series.
"Global mobile internet traffic as of the fourth quarter of 2017 is up 11.65 per cent year on year and currently stands at 51.12 per cent of global web traffic originating from smartphones. Kenya is the global leader in share of internet traffic coming from mobile (overtaking Nigeria in 2017), at 83 per cent," Jumia Kenya said in the report.
"Reflecting the same trend, Jumia Kenya for the first time ever in 2018, has seen more orders coming from mobile devices (mobile web and app) than desktop. The majority of traffic to the website continues to come from mobile devices (mobile web + app), but historically conversion rates were lower than on desktops," said Jumia Kenya.
Smartphones in Kenya are largely used to access games, music, news and social media sites. However, they are an increasingly essential tool to access financial products and a huge variety of useful services.
The country has more than 25 digital credit providers, with new services being launched continually. Data from Jumia Kenya shows that it sold over 250,000 smartphones in 2017, a 25 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Smartphones accounted for 97 per cent of all phones sold (three per cent feature phones), with 68 per cent of sales taking place in Nairobi.
Presently, smartphones with 3G internet connectivity are being sold as low as Sh3,500.