Kenya - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Kenya’s mobile market has continued to grow steadily, supported by a mobile subscriber base of about 40 million by early 2016. Some market consolidation occurred following the acquisition by Airtel and Safaricom of Essar Telecom’s yuMobile business. While all operators have invested in mobile technologies and infrastructure upgrades to support mobile data services, competition has nevertheless presented challenges to the profitability of network operators, with uneven revenue growth reported in recent years. Orange Group is the principal casualty and is in the process of exiting the market, having sold its entire 70% holding in Telkom Kenya to Helios. By contrast, Safaricom, controlling two-thirds of the subscriber market, has seen very strong growth on the back of its popular M-PESA payment platform. Competitive pressure has also encouraged players to streamline operations, reduce workforces and sell off their tower portfolios.

To encourage the development of LTE services the government has pursued an open-access approach. A number of MVNO licences awarded since 2014 have added to the competitive mix, with Equitel establishing a market share of about 3% by the end of 2015.

Key developments:

M-Tiba mobile health payment platform launched; regulator proposes limit of ten SIM cards per subscriber; Safaricom contracts Nokia Networks to develop LTE-A network, shares capacity on its LTE infrastructure, launches Hello Doctor m-medicine service; Orange Kenya closes CDMA network; Safaricom and Bharti Airtel acquire Essar Telecom’s assets and subscribers; Dubai Bank Kenya partners with Rapid Communications to develop the M-SASA mobile banking platform; One Network Area initiative expands to include mobile data and mobile money services; handset device market showing stronger growth for 3G and LTE-enabled devices than 2G; government’s open-access approach to licensing LTE network revised; report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2015, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Safaricom (Vodafone); Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel); Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet); Telkom Kenya (Orange, France Telecom); Huawei Technologies; ZTE; Alcatel-Lucent; Nokia Networks.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Overview of Kenya’s mobile market
    • 2.1 General statistics
      • 2.1.1 Special regional tariffs
    • 2.2 Mobile subscribers
    • 2.3 Mobile voice
      • 2.3.1 VoIP/VoLTE
    • 2.4 Mobile data
      • 2.4.1 SMS
      • 2.4.2 MMS
    • 2.5 Mobile broadband
    • 2.6 Forecasts - mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 2.6.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 3. Regulatory issues
    • 3.1 Roaming
    • 3.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • 3.3 International gateways
    • 3.4 Spectrum
    • 3.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 3.6 Network sharing
    • 3.7 Quality of Service (QoS) control
    • 3.8 SIM card registration
    • 3.9 Taxes
    • 3.10 Tariff regulation
  • 4. Mobile infrastructure
    • 4.1 Analogue networks
    • 4.2 Digital networks
      • 4.2.1 UMTS (3G)
      • 4.2.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 4.3 Other infrastructure developments
      • 4.3.1 Global System for Mobiles (GSM)
      • 4.3.2 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
      • 4.3.3 GPRS, EDGE, HSPA
    • 4.4 Satellite mobile
  • 5. Major mobile operators
    • 5.1 Mobile market shares
    • 5.2 Safaricom
      • 5.2.1 Privatisation and IPO
      • 5.2.2 Network development and operations
    • 5.3 Bharti Airtel Kenya (formerly Zain, Celtel, KenCell)
      • 5.3.1 Equity transactions 2004-2010
      • 5.3.2 Financial results
      • 5.3.3 Network development and operations
    • 5.4 Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet)
      • 5.4.1 Six years of licence disputes
      • 5.4.2 Network development and operations
      • 5.4.3 Shutdown and sale
    • 5.5 Telkom Kenya (Orange Kenya)
    • 5.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • 6. Mobile content and applications
    • 6.1 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
      • 6.1.1 M-PESA (Safaricom)
      • 6.1.2 Airtel Money (ZAP)
      • 6.1.3 yuCash (Essar)
      • 6.1.4 Orange Money
      • 6.1.5 Other services
    • 6.2 Mobile TV
    • 6.3 M-medicine
    • 6.4 Satellite mobile
  • 7. Handsets
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile services revenue and investments – 2008- 2015
  • Table 2 –Mobile traffic share by operator – 2014 - 2015
  • Table 3 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 5 – SMS traffic – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 6 – MMS traffic – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 7 – Mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 8 – Mobile internet market share by provider – 2014 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 11 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2015
  • Table 12 – Safaricom subscribers – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 13 – Safaricom revenue – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Safaricom revenue by sector – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 15 – Safaricom - proportion of revenue by sector – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Airtel Kenya subscribers – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 17 – Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 18 – Orange Kenya revenue – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 19 – Orange Kenya mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 20 – Mobile money transfer statistics – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 21 – Safaricom - M-PESA revenue – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 22 – Safaricom – active M-PESA customers – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 23 – Safaricom –M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 - 2016
  • Chart 1 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2005 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2015
  • Exhibit 1 – Texting elephants
  • Exhibit 2 – Job offers by SMS

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