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 47 million. Some market consolidation occurred following the acquisition by Airtel and Safaricom of Essar Telecom’s yuMobile business. More significantly, in February 2019 Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya signed an agreement to merge their networks and operate under the Airtel-Telekom joint venture which will be 49% owned by Telekom Kenya. The merge units will provide a greater challenge to the market dominance of Safaricom.

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. Orange Group was the principal casualty of competition, leading it to sell its stake in Telkom Kenya. By contrast, Safaricom has seen very strong growth on the back of its popular M-PESA payment platform. This dominance encouraged the government to consider, and later dismiss, recommendations that Safaricom split off its M-PESA business from its voice and data offerings.

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.

Key developments:

  • Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya sign merger agreement;
  • Another 600,000 SIM cards deactivated;
  • Safaricom launches M-PESA Global payment service;
  • Government proposes increase in m-money transfer tax;
  • Regulator introduces a new system to measure QoS parameters;
  • M-money interoperability starts;
  • Airtel Kenya pays $25 million for its 800MHz concession to provide LTE services;
  • M-Tiba mobile health payment platform launched;
  • One Network Area initiative expands to include mobile data and mobile money services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2018, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Safaricom, Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel), Essar Telkom Kenya, Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Networks, Mobile Pay (Tangaza Pesa), Zioncell Kenya, Finserve Africa (Equitel)

Table of Contents

  • Overview of Kenya’s mobile market

    • General statistics
    • Mobile data
      • SMS
      • MMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Forecasts - mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Regulatory issues

    • Roaming
    • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • International gateways
    • Spectrum
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Network sharing
    • Quality of Service (QoS)
    • SIM card registration
    • Taxes
    • Tariff regulation
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • Analogue networks
    • Digital networks4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • GSM
      • Internet of Things (IoT)
      • Satellite mobile
  • Major mobile operators

    • Mobile market share by operator
    • Safaricom
      • Privatisation and IPO
    • Airtel Kenya (formerly Zain, Celtel, KenCell)
    • Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet)
    • Telkom Kenya
    • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • Mobile content and applications

    • Mobile money transfer, m-banking
      • M-PESA (Safaricom)
      • Airtel Money (ZAP)
      • yuCash (Essar)
      • T-Kash (Telkom Money)
      • Equity Money
      • PesaLink
      • Other services
    • M-medicine
  • Handsets

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Mobile services revenue and investments – 2009- 2017
  • Table 2 –Mobile traffic share by operator – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 5 – Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014- 2018
  • Table 6 – SMS traffic by quarter – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 7 – SMS annual traffic – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 8 – MMS traffic – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 9 – Mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 10 – Mobile internet market share by provider – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Mobile data subscribers – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 14 – Annual mobile number portings – 2013- 2018
  • Table 15 – 2G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2017
  • Table 16 – 3G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2017
  • Table 17 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Safaricom revenue – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 19 – Safaricom revenue by sector – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 20 – Safaricom - proportion of service revenue by sector – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 21 – Safaricom subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Safaricom base stations by technology – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Airtel Kenya subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers – 2010 – 2014
  • Table 25 – Telkom Kenya revenue – 2010 – 2014
  • Table 26 – Telkom Kenya mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Finserve Africa mobile subscribers – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Mobile money penetration rate – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 29 – Mobile money transfer statistics – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Mobile money subscribers by operator – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 31 – Safaricom - M-PESA revenue – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 32 – Safaricom – active M-PESA customers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 33 – Safaricom –M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014- 2018
  • Chart 3 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Safaricom revenue – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 6 – Safaricom revenue by sector – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 7 – Safaricom - proportion of service revenue by sector – 2014 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Safaricom –M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Texting elephants
  • Exhibit 2 – Job offers by SMS

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