Equitel’s growth drives mobile penetration to 90% - CA
RICHARD MUNGAI/ Cellular mobile penetration in the country has reached 90 per cent, the Communications Authority has said. The growth was driven by Equity Bank’s Finserve Africa, which operates Equitel that was licenced by the CA in 2014, alongside two other Mobile Virtual Network Operators - Mobile Pay and Zioncell Kenya.
According to CA, the licensing of MVNOs has also proved critical in reigniting the growth of mobile voice traffic, which had almost stalled.
CA said the period between April and June, which marked the fourth quarter of the financial year 2015/2016, recorded a 3.7 per cent growth in mobile subscriptions to 39.7 million up from 38.3 million subscriptions registered in the previous quarter.
Equitel recorded the highest subscriptions, which increased by 19.7 per cent from 1.68 million in March to 2.01 million in June.
Safaricom’s subscriptions increased by 3.1 per cent from 25.16 million to 25.94 million while Orange, which is owned by Telkom Kenya, registered a growth of 8.9 per cent from 4.81 million to 5.23 million.
However, Airtel recorded a two per cent drop in subscriptions from 6.72 million in March to 6.58 million in June.
“The mobile penetration increased to 90 per cent from 89.2 per cent recorded in the last quarter. There were 1.4 million new mobile subscriptions during the quarter under review compared to 660, 867 net additions registered in the previous quarter,” CA said in the fourth quarter sector statistics report.
“When compared to the same period of the previous financial year, this was a growth of 9.9 per cent.”
During the quarter under review, the volume of intra-network mobile voice minutes grew marginally by 0.3 per cent to stand at 9.04 billion minutes.
Likewise the number of total traffic originating from mobile networks during the 2015-16 financial year grew by 22.5 per cent to 41.6 billion minutes up from 34 billion minutes posted in the previous financial year.
“This could be attributed to increased number of mobile subscriptions as the MVNOs continue to increase their stake in market share,” CA said.
CA director general Francis Wangusi