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 39 8 million by early 2017. Some market consolidation occurred following the acquisition by Airtel and Safaricom of Essar Telecom’s yuMobile business. While all network operators have invested in mobile technologies and infrastructure upgrades to support mobile data services, competition has nevertheless presented challenges to their profitability, with uneven revenue growth reported in recent years. While Orange Group was the principal casualty of competition, leading it to sell its stake in Telkom Kenya, Safaricom has seen very strong growth on the back of its popular M-PESA payment platform. This market dominance, however, has encouraged the government to consider recommendations from a report commissioned by the regulator in late 2016 that Safaricom split –off its M-PESA business.

To encourage the development of LTE services the government has pursued an open-access approach. Disputes centered on licence fees delayed the launch of LTE services by MNOs, though they continued to invest in infrastructure and technology upgrades using trial licences.

A number of MVNO licences awarded since 2014 have added to the competitive mix, with Equitel establishing a market share of about 3.8% by early 2017.

Key developments:

Vodacom takes a large stake in Safaricom; Airtel begins trialling LTE; Treasury launches its M-Akiba platform to buy and sell government bonds; M-Tiba mobile health payment platform launched; regulator proposes limit of ten SIM cards per subscriber; Orange Money platform to be revamped and relaunched by end-2017; Safaricom contracts Nokia Networks to develop LTE-A network, shares capacity on its LTE infrastructure, launches Hello Doctor m-medicine service; One Network Area initiative expands to include mobile data and mobile money services; regulator reviews framework for QoS surveys; report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2016, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Overview of Kenya’s mobile market
    • 2.1 General statistics
    • 2.2 Mobile voice
      • 2.2.1 VoIP/VoLTE
    • 2.3 Mobile data
      • 2.3.1 SMS
      • 2.3.2 MMS
    • 2.4 Mobile broadband
    • 2.5 Forecasts - mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
      • 2.5.1 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 Global System for Mobiles (GSM)
      • 4.2.2 UMTS (3G)
      • 4.2.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 4.3 Other infrastructure developments
      • 4.3.1 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
      • 4.3.2 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 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
    • 6.2 PesaLink
      • 6.2.1 Other services
    • 6.3 Mobile TV
    • 6.4 M-medicine
    • 6.5 Satellite mobile
  • 7. Handsets
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014- 2016
  • Table 2 – Mobile services revenue and investments – 2008- 2015
  • Table 3 –Mobile traffic share by operator – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 4 –Mobile subscriber market share by operator – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 5 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 6 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 7 – SMS traffic – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 8 – MMS traffic – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Mobile internet market share by provider – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 12 – Mobile data subscribers – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 13 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 14 – Mobile number portings – 2013- 2016
  • Table 15 – 2G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2016
  • Table 16 – 3G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2016
  • Table 17 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2016
  • Table 18 – Safaricom subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Safaricom revenue – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 20 – Safaricom revenue by sector – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Safaricom - proportion of revenue by sector – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Safaricom base stations by technology – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 23 – Airtel Kenya subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 24 – Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 25 – Orange Kenya revenue – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 26 – Orange Kenya mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 27 – Equitel mobile subscribers – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 28 – Mobile money transfer statistics – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 29 – Safaricom - M-PESA revenue – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 30 – Safaricom – active M-PESA customers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 31 – Safaricom –M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 - 2017
  • Chart 1 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – Texting elephants
  • Exhibit 2 – Job offers by SMS

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