Report: Airtel, Telkom gain more subscribers

Communications Authority of Kenya Headquarters (PHOTO: File)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Airtel and Telkom Kenya added more subscribers to their networks between July and September to post 27.2 and 6.3 percent market shares, respectively.

A quarterly report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) on the other hand shows Safaricom market share in mobile subscriptions dropping by 0.5 percentage points to stand at 63.7 per cent during the quarter under review.

Similarly, Equitel lost by 0.2 percentage points to record a market share of 2.8 per cent.

According to the report, Safaricom remains the market leader in mobile data subscription at 67.5 per cent even after losing 1.2 percentage points during the period under review. Airtel and Telkom control 26.8 and 5.4 market share in data after gaining 0.8 and 0.4 percentage points respectively.

During the quarter under review, there were 2.8 million additional SIM cards, up from 1.8 million additions recorded by end of June 2020. The report attributes the substantial growth to smartphones device financing service campaign run by Safaricom PLC dubbed “Lipa Mdogo Mdogo” which began on July 28 2020 and was aimed at the acquisition of new customers.

Further, the revision of the on-net PAYG rate by Airtel from Sh2.3 per minute to Sh0.57 per minute for all Tubonge packs could also have enticed new customers.

“The ICT sector has continued to witness strong growth as the demand for ICT services continues to rise owing to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says the report.

“As at the end of September 30, the number of active mobile subscriptions (SIM Cards) stood at 59.8 million from 57.0 million subscriptions reported in June 2020. This translated to mobile (SIM) penetration of 125.8 percent during the period under review.”

Mobile Money Services

As at September 30, active mobile money transfer subscriptions and mobile money agents stood at 31.8million and 245,124 respectively.

As was the case last quarter, the values transacted on mobile money platforms continued to increase with the adoption of cashless payments aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

SMS Traffic

The total number of short messages sent during the period, July-September 2020 stood at 17.0billion, down from 20.1billion messages sent during the preceding period.

The significant drop 14is attributed to the conclusion of the“SMS Bundle Promotion” by Safaricom PLC, which ran during the previous quarter.

On the other hand, Minutes of Use per Subscription per Month increased to 101.2from 88.8minutes registered in the preceding quarter.

The significant growth is attributed to Safaricom PLC promotion dubbed “Top Up Voice Promotion” that enabled prepaid subscribers to make discounted calls based on their minutes of use per day. Further, the operator offered a promotion called “Jiachilie bundle promotion” that enables subscribers who spend Sh100 or less on calls in a month to make more calls for less.

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