Safaricom extends lead in Kenya mobile market

7 April 2017

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The mobile sector in Kenya registered positive growth in the three months to December, reaching 38.9 million active subscriptions, up from 38.5 million three months earlier, according to the latest report from the Communications Authority of Kenya.

This represents growth of 1.0 percent during the quarter. When compared to the same period of the previous year, there was an increase of 1.2 million subscriptions. Subsequently, mobile penetration grew by 0.9 percentage points during the quarter to stand at 88.2 percent at the end of 2016.

The net additions in mobile subscriptions totalled 385,260, compared to a decline of 1.1 million subscriptions in the previous quarter. According to the CA, Safaricom recorded the highest number of mobile subscriptions at 31 December 2016, gaining 2.2 percentage points of market share to stand at 71.2 percent, up from 69.0 percent the previous quarter. Airtel gained 0.1 percentage point to reach 17.6 percent.

In contrast, Telkom Kenya lost 0.2 percentage points to reach 7.4 percent market share, and MVNO Finserve Africa lost 2.1 percentage points to stand at 3.8 percent. This was mainly attributed to the revision of data by the service provider during the quarter under review.

A total 96.4 percent of the mobile subscriptions were prepaid, down slightly from 96.5 percent in the last quarter. Safaricom’s total number of subscriptions grew by 4.2 percent to 27.7 million. It gained 4.1 percent and 7.0 percent more prepaid and postpaid mobile subscriptions respectively.

Airtel experienced an increase in the number of prepaid subscriptions of 1.4 percent, to stand at 6.7 million. However, its postpaid subscriptions declined by 6.6 percent to 137,664. Its total mobile subscriptions stood at 6.8 million, an increase of 1.2 percent from the previous quarter.

Telkom Kenya experienced a marginal decline in the number of prepaid subscriptions of 0.3 percent to 2.88 million. Its postpaid mobile subscriptions grew by 5.3 percent to 8,871. The total subscriptions were registered at 2.8 million, down from 2.9 million in the previous quarter.

Finserve Africa registered a total of 1.4 million mobile subscriptions, down from 2.2 million in the September quarter. This was the result of a revision of customer data by the operator.

Source: Telecompaper 4 April 2017