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Web surfers increase by 65pc

By | January 7th 2012

By John Oyuke

Internet users in the country rose by 65 per cent to 14.3 million in the third quarter of 2011, as telecommunication sector operators leveraged on emerging technologies to bring new offerings to the market.

The industry regulator said the period under review witnessed 75 per cent of the total users accessing the service through their mobile handsets, leaving computer and other modes with only 25 per cent.

The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) said it is evident that the growth of mobile subscriptions is on an upward trend with mobile handsets not only becoming the medium of communication, but also for accessing other value added services like data and Internet, entertainment, and money transfer.

"This trend is likely to continue as new innovations emerge and operators keep an eye on new services, and seize the opportunity of being the first to offer them," CCK said in its latest quarterly sector statistics report.

However, CCK noted that though the international connectivity bandwidth received a boost of 615.97 per cent during the review period, the usage still remained low with only 2.33 per cent, an indication that a lot of capacity is yet to be utilised.

The Commission said projects geared towards utilising this capacity such as local content development should be encouraged to provide a critical foundation for a thriving information society where an increasing level of decision making takes place based on digitally transmitted data, information, and knowledge.

In terms of mobile service subscriptions, CCK pointed out that the period under review witnessed an upsurge in the number of mobile subscribers from 25.22 million to 26.49 million, representing an increase of 4.8 per cent.

It said compared to the same period of the previous year, a 20.2 per cent increase was recorded, representing 4.46 million new subscriptions registered, attributing the growth to aggressive customer acquisition strategies and marketing by operators as competition in the market intensified.

The four mobile operators operating in the market experienced gains in subscriptions during the quarter under review.

Safaricom Limited recorded the highest gain of 593,177 followed by Airtel Networks Kenya Limited with 557,567 new subscriptions. Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd and Orange Telkom recorded 46,742 and 16,686 new subscribers. In terms of market share by subscriptions, Safaricom Limited recorded 67.7 per cent. Airtel Networks Kenya Limited had 15.7 while Essar Telecom and Telkom Kenya Limited had 6.2 per cent and 10.4 per cent.

According to CCK, Mobile Money Transfer also continued to gain popularity among subscribers. At the end of the quarter under review, there were 18.4 million transfers, representing 69.5 per cent of the total mobile subscriptions.

The postal sector, however, recorded a downward trend.



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