Kenya: Uptake of social media increases Internet use


Stiff competition by Internet service providers has driven up subscription by 82.7 per cent over the past one year to reach 7.7 million, according the latest industry regulator report.

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) 2011/2012 report ending June indicates that majority of subscribers access their Internet through mobile handsets especially the youths who are active on social media.

The report also indicates that most firms are switched to inland fibre optic connections, hurting business satellite providers in the process.

The increased Internet subscription has resulted in more users and mobile penetration. The number of Internet users rose by 18.5 per cent to reach 14 million while the annual growth of the population that had access to the service reached 35 per cent.

“Increased demand for Internet and data services and use of social media especially among the youthful population; competitive tariffs by the mobile operators coupled with aggressive promotional and special offers have driven Internet usage,” says the report.

Mobile data/Internet subscriptions continued to dominate the Internet market contributing 98.9 per cent of the total Internet/data subscriptions.

Safaricom recorded the highest market share by subscription of 68.7 percent followed by Airtel Networks Kenya Limited (14.0 percent), Telkom Kenya Limited (8.8 per cent) while Essar Telecom Kenya Limited had the lowest market share of 8.4 per cent.

Airtel gained a market share of 4.5 percentage points while Safaricom experienced the highest reduction in the market share of 2.3 percentage points. Essar gained (1.6 percentage points) accounting while Telkom gained (0.7 percentage points).

The mobile operators have continued to increase their investment in data as they expect a surge in demand for data services in Kenya, thanks to an explosion of Internet-ready, hand-held devices, an increase in the number of relevant applications and content.