Rates Offers & Coverage

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

-Nigeria ended June 2013 with a total of 120.36 million fixed and mobile telephone subscribers, up from 117.28 million three months earlier and 113.21 million at the start of the year, according to the latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). GSM mobile operators accounted for 97.55%, or 117.41 million, of the country’s total telephony user base at the end of the second quarter of 2013 (up from 109.83 million users six months earlier), followed by CDMA mobile networks with 2.13%, or 2.57 million (down from 2.6%, or 2.95 million, at 31 December 2012). Fixed and CDMA fixed-wireless operators claimed just 0.32%, or 382,678, of the total telephony base, down from 428,768 users in the space of six months. According to the NCC, the largest mobile operator by subscribers remains South Africa-based MTN by some margin, with around 55.24 million users on its GSM network at the end of June 2013, up 7.7% quarter-on-quarter and accounting for over 46% of Nigeria’s total GSM and CDMA wireless subscriber base. Its nearest rival Globacom had less than half that figure (25.02 million subscribers) at the same date.

- GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) has released a comprehensive infographic on the state of mobile money adoption in Kenya. The infographic indicates that 23,018,500 people, or 74% of the adult population, now use mobile money services.The launch of M-PESA in 2007 was a critical breakthrough that provided insights on the use of mobile phone platforms to facilitate a basic payment service that could open many opportunities to increase financial inclusion in Kenya, improving the efficiency of financial services by expanding access and lowering transaction costs.Some of those products, like M-Shwari, allow low-income and unbanked people to accumulate capital through savings and affordable credit.

-Last month CCK implemented a 20 per cent cut on the rate that mobile phone operators charge each other for connection calls from outside their networks.
The MTR has been on an agreed decline rate which saw it lowered from Sh4.42 in 2009 to Sh2.21 in 2010 to Sh1.44 last year and Sh1.15 this year. It is set to be slashed again next year to 99 cents. Safaricom stands to lose most from further rate cuts since being the largest operator most calls terminate on its network.Airtel and Essar support MTR cut since they will pay Safaricom less. The two argue that MTR cuts will help players cut call rates. However the MTR cut only sparked rate slash in 2010, but the benefits of consequent MTR cuts have not been transferred to consumers.

-Airtel and Nokia are targeting the socially active youth market in the region with the introduction of free access to Facebook on Asha 501 for 3 months. Internet access continues to grow in East Africa, driven primarily by high mobile phone usage and stiff competition among the service providers.According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), there are over 9.49 million Internet subscribers in Kenya alone. Mobile access continues to dominate, representing 99 percent of the total subscriptions. In the first quarter of this year, the estimated number of Internet users rose by 11.6 percent to reach 16.2million, from 14.5million users in the previous quarter. Through this partnership, Nokia is looking to grow the Asha user base, while Airtel is targeting to grow its data users. The Nokia Asha 501, which was launched last month is retailing at Shs7,999, UGX 279,900 and TZs 179,900 in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania respectively.