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Communications Authority: Kenya's SMS traffic declined in January-March 2015

By Fredrick Obura | August 4th 2015

NAIROBI, KENYA: The number of text messages sent through mobile networks declined between the months of January and March this year.

Between the period, Short Messaging Service (SMS) traffic declined by 11.8 percent to record 6.5 billion messages down from 7.4 billion messages sent during the last quarter.

“Thus each subscriber sent an average of 63 messages per month during the quarter,” says Communication Authority in a quarterly report.

The report also indicates that the number of postal and courier outlets remained stagnant during the quarter and stood at 622 and 788 respectively.

According to the report, the number of mobile money transfer subscribers increased by 3.0 percent to reach 26.7 million up from 26.0 million recorded during the last quarter while the number of agents rose to 126,622 up from 121,924.

Data/internet subscriptions grew to 18.8 million up from 16.3 million subscriptions recorded during the last quarter, a growth of 14.3 percent. Internet users, as a result, rose to 29.1 million up from 26.1 million the previous quarter. This raised the population with access to internet to 71.7 percent up from 64.1 percent during the last quarter.

Fixed network traffic declined by 11.2 percent to register 22.3 million minutes down from 25.1 million minutes realised during the last quarter.

The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Finserve Africa (Equitel) acquired a share of 1.9 per cent of the total mobile subscriptions by registering 665,661 mobile subscribers during the January-March 2015 period.

According to the latest statistics from the Communications Authority, Equitel recorded on-net traffic of 2.3 million minutes during the quarter while the traffic to other mobile networks stood at 17.2 million.

The entry into the market by the MVNO shows that there is still potential for growth and further competition in the mobile sub sector.

Mobile subscriptions continued on the upward trajectory and recorded a growth of 3.6 per cent to reach 34.8million subscribers from 33.6million recorded in the previous quarter. This represents mobile penetration of 85.5 per cent. 

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