Kenya’s total mobile subscriptions to reach 39.5mn by 2016: Research and Markets

Telecom Lead Africa: Kenya’s total mobile subscriber base
is expected to reach 39.5mn by 2016, with penetration rate of 83.1 percent,
according to Research and Markets. 

The firm revealed that Kenya’s mobile market returned to
strong subscriber growth in Q311 after a slowdown in H111. The mobile market
expanded by just 4.8 percent during Q311 with net additions of 1.217mn
subscribers to reach 26.494mn. This was significantly more than net additions
of just 312,000 subscribers or growth of 1.2 percent, in H111.

All four mobile operators in the country recorded
positive growth in Q311, with market leader Safaricom accounting for 48.8
percent of net additions and second-ranked Airtel accounting for 45.9 percent.

Furthermore, the research firm believes the surge in
mobile subscriptions in Q311 was due to promotions run by the operators as
opposed network expansion to underserved areas. However, we retain the view
that rural expansion is vital for sustainable subscriber growth in the medium

The number of Internet users in Kenya reached 14.3mn by
September 2011. The regulator’s data also showed a steady growth in mobile data
access lines, although it did not reveal the number of 3G-based mobile internet

Orange Kenya launched commercial 3G services in August
2011 and Airtel is expected to follow suit by April 2012, which along with
network investment by fixed network broadband service providers will drive
growth in the internet sector during our forecast period.

In result of this move, Research and Markets expects
broadband penetration to reach 1.8 percent by 2016.


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