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Kenya’s postpaid mobile market grows 8.4%

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Kenya , 29 Jul 2014

Kenya’s postpaid mobile market grows 8.4%

Strong growth characterises Kenya’s postpaid mobile phone subscription market as the country’s dominant prepaid segment rapidly cools off.

Results from the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) quarterly sector statistics for January to March 2014 show that postpaid subscriptions have registered growth of 8.4% for the period to top 607,569, up from 560,503 subscriptions in the previous quarter.

For the quarter ending March 2013, post-paid subscriptions in Kenya stood at just 390,129.

In comparison, the number of prepaid subscriptions in Kenya increased by 1.5% during the quarter ending March 2014 to hit 31.2 million subscriptions, up from 30.7 million in the previous period.

“The ratio of postpaid to prepaid subscriptions stood at 1:51 during the quarter under
review compared to 1:55 in the previous quarter,” notes the CA in its report.

Breaking down the statistics further, the CA reveals that postpaid subscriptions for Kenya’s largest mobile network Safaricom increased from 431,425 to 472,974 during the period.

Rival network Airtel also increased its post-paid market share from 124,355 to 130,005 for the period.

Possible reasons for fast growth in Kenya’s post-paid segment include low prices.

A price war in Kenya’s mobile market two years ago resulted in players such as Safaricom looking to win over subscribers by offering lower tariffs on their post-paid services.

But as the prepaid price wars in Kenya cooled down, operators such as Safaricom have signalled plans to shut down some post-paid services owing to their lack of profitability.

Meanwhile, the CA has also provided a breakdown of total market share among Kenyan mobile network players.

Safaricom grew 1.5% during the quarter to top a total of 21,567,388 subscribers, Airtel increased its base by 1.8% to reach 5,251,087 users, Essar shed 3.5% market share to have 2,557,630 subscribers and Telkom Kenya (Orange) grew 8.8% to reach 2,453,898.

In total, Kenya’s number of mobile subscribers have grown 1.7% from 31.3 million to 31.8 million for the third quarter of the financial year 2013/14.

This means the Kenyan mobile market is quickly maturing as the penetration rate for these services has risen from 76.9% to 78,2%.

The CA further notes that mobile technologies are eating into Kenya’s fixed line market as the number of lines in this segment declined by 0.7% to reach 204,354 lines from 205,856 lines recorded in the previous quarter.

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