Mobile Data Propels Kenya’s Internet Penetration to 69% of the Population


mobile dataThe Communication Authority of Kenya has released the fourth quarter statistics report  for the period between April and June 2015 on the mobile telephony sector. The report details among other things, mobile money statistics, internet penetration as well as data on the market share of all the telcos. It also offers insight on courier services and postal services.

According to the report,  Kenya currently has 29.6 million internet users representing 69% of the population down from 71%. The slight decline is attributed to the revision of the base population figure used in the computation of penetration from 40.7 million to 43.0 million as per the Economic Survey 2015. Currently around three billion people in the world access the internet representing about 40% of the global population. This means Kenya has by far beaten the global average.

Mobile data held pole position with 19.9 million users representing an increase of 5.9% from 18.8 million subscribers last quarter. This represents 42.2% increase year over year.  Safaricom still leads in terms of market share with  63% of the market or 12.5 million subscribers, This is an increase from 12.1 million customers over the same period last year. Airtel Kenya follows with 3.6 million subscriptions and a market share of 19% from 3.4 million last quarter. Orange has 2.5 million data subscriptions representing 14% market share while Equity Bank’s Equitel had 4% or 873,643 subscriptions.

The growth in mobile internet is attributed to the affordability of mobile data bundles provided by various  internet service providers such as Airtel Unliminet. Growth of e-commerce services is also a factor leading to the increased internet usage. Social networking sites and instant messaging services such as Whatsapp, which most Kenyan internet users access through mobile devices were partly responsible for the growth.  Kenyans have also used the internet for utility services such as reading news online, online banking services as well as doing research online on their cellular devices hence fueling the uptake.