Kenya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Kenya’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- March 2018 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

Kenya’s mature m-commerce sector looking to network interoperability

Kenya’s telecommunications market continues to undergo considerable changes in response to 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. 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 almost tripled in the year to September 2017.

The 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. However, 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 major WiMAX deployments and FttP rollouts have been undertaken, which have pushed fast broadband connectivity to a greater number of subscribers in urban areas. Nevertheless, the vast majority of broadband subscribers remain on mobile networks.

Key developments:

  • Government cuts back on scale of second phase national broadband network project;
  • Telkom Kenya completes first phase of a KES600 million network upgrade project;
  • Universal Service Fund extends mobile coverage to underserved northern regions;
  • Telecom regulator loses certain powers to the Competition Authority of Kenya;
  • Test phase of m-money interoperability starts;
  • Jamii Telecom launches cut-price LTE services;
  • Regulator rejects proposal for Safaricom’s M-PESA service to be split off from voice and data services;
  • Telkom Kenya's revamped m-money platform to be relaunched;
  • Kenya Power trials fibre access on its electricity network;
  • AccessKenya completes metropolitan fibre network rollout in Nairobi and Nakuru;
  • International internet bandwidth continues to rise;
  • Government progresses with national broadband strategy.
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2017, operator data to Q3 2017, 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, Safaricom, Essar Telkom Kenya, Mobile Pay (Tangaza Pesa), Zioncell Kenya, Finserve Africa (Equitel), Kenya Data Networks (KDN), SimbaNet, Africa Online, Swift Global, Internet Solutions Kenya (InterConnect), Gilat Satellite Networks, Afsat Communications, Inmarsat, Indigo Telecom (Thuraya), Nation TV (NTV).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Overview of Kenya’s telecom market
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Kenya Communications Act 1998
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
    • 3.3 Revised Telecommunications Market Structure 2004
    • 3.4 Kenya Communications Amendment Act 2009
    • 3.5 Licence fees
    • 3.6 Universal Service Fund (USF)
    • 3.7 Interconnection
    • 3.8 Number portability
    • 3.9 Spectrum auctions
    • 3.10 Foreign ownership
    • 3.11 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 3.11.1 Privatisation of Telkom
      • 3.11.2 Regional telecom licences
      • 3.11.3 Second national operator (SNO) licensing
      • 3.11.4 International gateway licences
      • 3.11.5 Unified licensing regime
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Telkom Kenya
      • 4.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • 4.2 Liquid Telecom Kenya (KDN)
    • 4.3 Jamii Telecom
    • 4.4 AccessKenya
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI)
    • 5.3 Liquid Telecom
    • 5.4 Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC)
    • 5.5 Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC)
    • 5.6 Safaricom
    • 5.7 MTN
    • 5.8 Fibre infrastructure sharing
    • 5.9 Data centres
    • 5.10 International infrastructure
      • 5.10.1 Satellite
      • 5.10.2 Terrestrial fibre
      • 5.10.3 Submarine fibre
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Internet backbone infrastructure
      • 6.1.3 Broadband statistics
    • 6.2 Forecasts – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • 6.2.1 Public internet access locations
    • 6.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 6.3.1 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
      • 6.3.2 Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC)
      • 6.3.3 National broadband strategy
      • 6.3.4 ISP market
    • 6.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • 6.5 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.5.1 Wireless broadband
      • 6.5.2 Broadband via satellite
      • 6.5.3 Project Loon
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 E-learning
      • 7.1.1 National research and education network (NREN)
    • 7.2 E-commerce
    • 7.3 E-government
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Overview of Kenya’s mobile market
      • 8.1.1 General statistics
      • 8.1.2 Mobile data
      • 8.1.3 Mobile broadband
      • 8.1.4 Forecasts - mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 8.2 Regulatory issues
      • 8.2.1 Roaming
      • 8.2.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • 8.2.3 International gateways
      • 8.2.4 Spectrum
      • 8.2.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 8.2.6 Network sharing
      • 8.2.7 Quality of Service (QoS)
      • 8.2.8 SIM card registration
      • 8.2.9 Taxes
      • 8.2.10 Tariff regulation
    • 8.3 Mobile infrastructure
      • 8.3.1 Analogue networks
      • 8.3.2 Digital networks
      • 8.3.3 Satellite mobile
    • 8.4 Major mobile operators
      • 8.4.1 Mobile market shares
      • 8.4.2 Safaricom
      • 8.4.3 Bharti Airtel Kenya (formerly Zain, Celtel, KenCell)
      • 8.4.4 Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet)
      • 8.4.5 Telkom Kenya
      • 8.4.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 8.5 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.5.1 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
      • 8.5.2 PesaLink
      • 8.5.3 M-medicine
      • 8.5.4 Satellite mobile
    • 8.6 Handsets
    • Table 1 – Country statistics Kenya – 2017 (e)
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2017
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 7 – Telecom sector revenue in Kenya – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 8 – Telkom fixed-line subscribers – 2008 - 2016
    • Table 9 – Fixed-wireless subscriptions in Kenya – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 10 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 11 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 12 – International bandwidth in Kenya – 2000 - 2017
    • Table 13 – International bandwidth capacity by platform – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 14 – International bandwidth used – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 15 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Kenya – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 16 – Internet users and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 17 – Internet subscriptions – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 18 – Wireless internet subscriptions by access technology – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 19 – Fixed-line broadband subscriptions by access technology – 2010 – 2017
    • Table 20 – Broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2018
    • Table 21 – Internet services revenue and investments – 2009 - 2015
    • Table 22 – Forecast fixed broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Table 23 – Fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 24 – Mobile services revenue and investments – 2009- 2017
    • Table 25 –Mobile traffic share by operator – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 26 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 27 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 28 – Prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014- 2017
    • Table 29 – SMS traffic – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 30 – MMS traffic – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 31 – Mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 32 – Mobile internet market share by provider – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 33 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2016
    • Table 34 – Mobile data subscribers – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 35 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Table 36 – Annual mobile number portings – 2013- 2017
    • Table 37 – 2G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2016
    • Table 38 – 3G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2016
    • Table 39 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2017
    • Table 40 – Safaricom revenue – 2011 - 2018
    • Table 41 – Safaricom revenue by sector – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 42 – Safaricom - proportion of revenue by sector – 2014 - 2018
    • Table 43 – Safaricom subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 44 – Safaricom base stations by technology – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 45 – Airtel Kenya subscribers – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 46 – Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers – 2010 - 2014
    • Table 47 – Telkom Kenya revenue – 2010 - 2014
    • Table 48 – Telkom Kenya mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 49 – Equitel mobile subscribers – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 50 – Mobile money transfer statistics – 2011 - 2017
    • Table 51 – Mobile money subscribers by operator – 2014 - 2017
    • Table 52 – Safaricom - M-PESA revenue – 2008 - 2018
    • Table 53 – Safaricom – active M-PESA customers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 54 – Safaricom –M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 - 2017
    • Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2018
    • Chart 2 - Internet users and penetration rate in Kenya – 2005 - 2017
    • Chart 3 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2005 – 2018
    • Chart 4 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2017
    • Exhibit 1 – Texting elephants
    • Exhibit 2 – Job offers by SMS

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