Second Quarter Statistics Report for FY 2016/2017: Safaricom Reigns in Mobile Subscriptions

Kenyan Mobile Operators

Kenyan Mobile Operators

Every quarter in a given Financial Year is summarized with a comprehensive report that incorporates ICT statistics, which include categories such as Mobile and Fixed Telephony Services, Data Services, Broadcasting service, Tariffs, Special Offers among other options. The results for the last quarter, which ran from October to December 2016, have been released, and we are going to look into the numbers recorded for all categories.

For the quarter that came to an end in December 2016, 385,260 new mobile subscribers (new users who purchase SIM cards) were registered, which translated to a 1% growth from a previous record of 38.5 million subscribers in the preceding quarter. This was a noticeable drop (0.2%) in comparison to subscriptions that were made in the last financial year. Similarly, mobile penetration (mobile subscriptions over total population) grew from 87.3% to 88.2%.

Mobile Subscriptions
Mobile Subscriptions

Prior to the 2016/2017 Financial Year, mobile subscriptions and penetration were on the rise. However, a drop in both fronts was recorded in the first quarter of the 2016/2017 Financial Year.

The majority of these carriers revised their data packages, which explains the shift in the statistics

Of the gains that were made on mobile subscriptions, Safaricom Limited took the lion’s share of up to 2.2%, which catapulted its market dominance from 69.0% to 71.2% as of 31st December 2016. Closely behind them was Airtel Networks Limited which amassed a measly 0.1%. It still comes second with a market share of 17.6%. Incidentally, Telkom Kenya Limited registered a drop of 0.2%, making it third with a 7.4% market share. Another company that lost a significant amount of market share is Finserve Africa Limited, which dropped 2.1% points, positioning it at the fourth place with 3.8%. Closing up is Sema Mobile services with <0.0% share. The majority of these carriers revised their data packages, which explains the shift in the statistics.

Market share for mobile subscriptions per carrier


Most of Kenyans still uses prepay services, and for the quarter under consideration, prepay mobile subscriptions were at 94.6%. Compared to the last quarter, this was a drop of 0.1%. On the other hand, post-pay is still a niche that is enjoyed by 3.6% of the mobile subscribers.

Last but not least, Safaricom emerged the winner with a 4.2% increase in the number of subscriptions, a feat that bumped its subscriber base from 26.6 million in the previous quarter to 27.7 million. Airtel came second with a 1.4% increase in 6.7 million mobile subscribers compared to 6.6 million recorded in the previous quarter. Telkom Kenya and Finserve Africa Limited registered 2.88 million and 1.4 million subscriptions respectively, which was a drop from 2.89 million and 2.2 million in that order. Sema Mobile Services managed to convince three new subscribers to join their train, making it stand at 270 subscriptions compared the 266 they had in the last quarter.


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