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 41 million by early 2018. 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. 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 market dominance, however, encouraged the government to consider, and later dismiss, recommendations from a 2016 report 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.

A number of MVNO licences awarded since 2014 have added to the competitive mix, with Equitel establishing a market share of about 4.6% by late 2017.

Key developments:

Telkom Kenya launches T-Kash m-money platform; regulator preps for auction of two remaining licences for 700MHz spectrum; test phase of m-money interoperability starts; Jamii Telecom launches cut-price LTE services; Airtel Kenya pays $25 million for its 800MHz concession to provide LTE services; Vodacom takes a large stake in Safaricom; Treasury launches its M-Akiba platform to buy and sell government bonds; M-Tiba mobile health payment platform launched; regulator rejects proposal for Safaricom’s M-PESA service to be split off from voice and data services; regulator proposes limit of ten SIM cards per subscriber; Telkom Kenya's m-money platform to be revamped and relaunched; 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 September 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2017, 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

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Overview of Kenya’s mobile market
    • 2.1 General statistics
    • 2.2 Mobile data
      • 2.2.1 SMS
      • 2.2.2 MMS
    • 2.3 Mobile broadband
    • 2.4 Forecasts - mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • 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)
    • 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 Satellite mobile
  • 5. Major mobile operators
    • 5.1 Mobile market shares
    • 5.2 Safaricom
      • 5.2.1 Privatisation and IPO
    • 5.3 Bharti Airtel Kenya (formerly Zain, Celtel, KenCell)
    • 5.4 Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet)
    • 5.5 Telkom 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 Telkom Money
      • 6.1.5 Equity Money
    • 6.2 PesaLink
      • 6.2.1 Other services
    • 6.3 M-medicine
    • 6.4 Satellite mobile
  • 7. Handsets
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile services revenue and investments – 2009- 2017
  • Table 2 –Mobile traffic share by operator – 2014 - 2017
  • 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- 2017
  • Table 6 – SMS traffic – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 7 – MMS traffic – 2012 - 2015
  • Table 8 – Mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Mobile internet market share by provider – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 10 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 11 – Mobile data subscribers – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 13 – Annual mobile number portings – 2013- 2017
  • Table 14 – 2G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2016
  • Table 15 – 3G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2016
  • Table 16 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 17 – Safaricom revenue – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 18 – Safaricom revenue by sector – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 19 – Safaricom - proportion of revenue by sector – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Safaricom subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Safaricom base stations by technology – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 22 – Airtel Kenya subscribers – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 23 – Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 24 – Telkom Kenya revenue – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 25 – Telkom Kenya mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 26 – Equitel mobile subscribers – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 27 – Mobile money transfer statistics – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 28 – Mobile money subscribers by operator – 2014 - 2017
  • Table 29 – Safaricom - M-PESA revenue – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 30 – Safaricom – active M-PESA customers – 2012 - 2017
  • 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 – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Texting elephants
  • Exhibit 2 – Job offers by SMS

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