Kenya - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses


Kenya’s telecommunications market continues to undergo considerable changes in the wake of increased competition, improved international connectivity, and rapid developments in the mobile market. The landing of four fibre-optic international submarine cables in recent years dramatically reduced the cost of phone calls and internet access, allowing internet services to be affordable to a far greater proportion of the population. In parallel, the sector’s regulator has reduced interconnection tariffs and implemented a range of regulations aimed at developing further competition.

The incumbent fixed-line telco, Telkom Kenya, which was managed by Orange Group from 2007 until it was sold to Helios in November 2015, has struggled to make headway in the competitive market. Market pressures encouraged the operator to undergo a reorganisation in 2018 which included a sale and leaseback arrangement with its mobile tower portfolio. In early 2019 the company signed a merger agreement with Airtel Kenya in which Telkom will retain a 49% share in the merged business.

A simplified and converged licensing regime introduced in 2008 has lowered the barriers to market entry and increased competition by allowing operators to offer any kind of service in a technology- and service-neutral regulatory framework. Numerous competitors are rolling out national and metropolitan fibre backbone networks and wireless access networks to deliver services to population centres across the country. Several fibre infrastructure sharing agreements have been forged, and as a result the number of fibre broadband connections increased 94% in the year to September 2018.

Key developments:

  • Telkom Kenya agrees to merger with Airtel Kenya
  • Universal Service Fund extends mobile coverage to underserved northern regions;
  • Telecom regulator loses certain powers to the Competition Authority of Kenya;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telecom, Access Kenya (Dimension Data), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), Wananchi, Safaricom, Bharti Airtel, MTN, Liquid Telecom.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Overview of Kenya’s telecom market
  • Regulatory environment

    • Kenya Communications Act 1998
    • Regulatory authority
    • Revised Telecommunications Market Structure 2004
    • Kenya Communications Amendment Act 2009
    • Licence fees
    • Universal Service Fund (USF)
    • Interconnection
    • Number portability
    • Spectrum auctions
    • Foreign ownership
  • Telecom sector liberalisation

    • Privatisation of Telkom
    • Regional telecom licences
    • Second national operator (SNO) licensing
    • International gateway licences
    • Unified licensing regime
  • Fixed network operators

    • Telkom Kenya
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • Liquid Telecom Kenya (KDN)
    • Jamii Telecom
    • AccessKenya
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI)
      • Liquid Telecom
      • Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC)
      • Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC)
      • Safaricom
      • MTN
      • Fibre infrastructure sharing
      • Data centres
    • International infrastructure
      • Satellite
      • Terrestrial fibre
      • Submarine fibre
  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Kenya – 2018
  • Table 2 – Telecom sector revenue in Kenya – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 3 – ICT sector revenue in Kenya – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 4 – Telkom fixed-line subscribers – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 5 – Fixed-wireless subscriptions in Kenya – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 6 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 8 – International bandwidth in Kenya – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 9 – International bandwidth capacity by platform – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 10 – International bandwidth used – 2013 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018

Related Reports

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Focus Report Profile


Broadband Fixed
Companies (Major Players)
Regulations & Government Policies
Smart Infrastructure
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 48

Status Current

Last updated 28 Mar 2019
Update History

Lead Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Contributing Analysts:

Peter Lange

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