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Safaricom and Airtel lose market share to new comers, regulator report shows

NEWS
By Graham Kajilwa | December 28th 2015

NAIROBI: Kenya's leading telco service provider has registered a decline in its majority market share, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has indicated.

In the sector's statistics report for the first quarter of 2015/2016 CA stated that Safaricom Limited recorded a market share of 66.3 per cent which is a 1.7 per cent decline.

This was the same case with Safaricom's immediate rival Airtel that also lost its market share by 0.3 per cent to stand at 19.1 per cent.

The decline was despite an upward trend in the market with the quarter under review recording 4.7 percent increase in subscriptions to stand at 37.8 million up from 36.1.

"Subsequently, mobile penetration grew from 83.9 percent recorded last quarter to 88.1 per cent during the period under review," read part of the report.

According to the report, the two giants did lose the share to the new comers Orange Kenya and Equity Bank's Equitel: "Orange Kenya and Equitel (Finserve Africa Limited) on the other hand gained market shares to stand at 11.8 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively. Airtel gained subscriptions to stand at 7.2 million up from 6.8."

Finserve Africa did gain by 24.3 per cent to record 1,085,869 total subscriptions of all which are on pre-paid. Orange pre-paid subscriptions increased from four to 4.4 million subscriptions whereas and post-paid subscriptions dropped from 11,264 to 9,198 subscriptions.

However, despite losing its market share, Safaricom gained 3.8 per cent in the number of mobile subscriptions to stand at 25.1 million with pre-paid subscribers growing from 23.3 to 25.1 million.

This was exhibited by Safaricom's largest market share of 64.1 per cent (13.8 million subscriptions) for mobile data. Airtel registered 3.7, Orange 2.8 and Finserve one million.

The same was replicated in voice traffic with Safaricom gaining 7.1 per cent to stand at 75.9 per cent with its total traffic volume standing at 8.2 from 6.3 billion minutes.

"Airtel experienced a decline in local mobile voice traffic to post 1.7 billion minutes from 1.8. Subsequently, its market share dropped by four percent to stand at 16.2," explained the report.

Telkom had a decline registering 824 million minutes from 992 with Finserve gaining to 25.2 million minutes from 22.5: "Unlike the trends exhibited by other mobile operators where on-net traffic is usually higher than off-net traffic, Finserve Africa recorded on-net traffic of 3.2 million and off-net traffic of 22.0 million minutes. However, the market share remained unchanged at 0.2 percent."

Net gainers in money transfer were M-Pesa, Equitel Money and Mobi-kash by 3.7, 24.3 and 2.3 percent respectively. Airtel Money and Orange Money lost by 0.2 and 0.6 percent respectively.

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