Multiple sim cards fuel number of mobile phone subscribers in Kenya

NAIROBI, KENYA: Multiple sim cards has fuelled an increase in the number of mobile subscribers in the country, according to new research by Tifa and reelforg.

The survey says the number of mobile subscription stood at 49.5 million in 2018 while internet penetration in the country is also on a steady rise from 2014.

In 2014, Kenya’s mobile subscription was at 33.6 million but has since gone up by more than 100 per cent to 49.5 million in 2018.

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Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in its 2018 report indicated that at least 30 per cent of Kenyans owned more than one SIM card. Key providers in the telecommunication industry are Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom.

Internet subscriptions in the country have grown since 2014 with the highest growth (more than 10 per cent) of subscribers being between 2017 and 2018.

The survey compared the internet subscription from 2014 to 2018 of which a steady growth was realized. In 2014, Kenya’s internet subscription was at 16.4 million while in 2015 and 2016 it stood at 23.9 million and 26.6 million respectively. 2017 subscription was at 33.3 million.

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The report offers key insights on Kenya’s media landscape and covers the supply and demand of TV, radio and online media. It further provides an analysis of the news themes published on print, TV, radio, and online media

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“The growth in data subscribers could be attributed to the investments in base stations and the last mile fibre optic transmission links to support increasing bandwidth demand in the country,” notes the survey.

“As a result, Kenyans are using their mobile phones data services to access radio, TV and print content on-demand. The internet also facilitates on-demand access to content, anytime, anywhere on any digital device and has resulted in what is now referred to as democratisation of information.”

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