Safaricom Losing Market Share as Airtel, Telkom Gain Ground

safaricom ceo bob collymore medical leave

safaricom ceo bob collymore medical leaveThe Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), has released sector statistics report for the period October to December 2017. According to the report, Kenya’s mobile telephony sub-sector displayed substantial growth with active mobile subscriptions rising from 41.0 million to 42.8 million. Subsequently, the mobile penetration level increased to 94.3% from 90.4% recorded in the preceding quarter.

Interestingly, supposed dominant Safaricom was reported to have lost market share during this period, probably thanks to NASA coalition calling its supporters to boycott the telco. This boycott seemed to have worked for Airtel as it gained market share alongside Telkom Kenya who put in more effort to win over the hearts of Kenyans.

Market Share

Kenya’s leading telco, Safaricom, grew its mobile subscriber base from 29.4 million to 29.5 million during the period under review. Despite this growth in numbers, its market share shrunk slightly from 71.9% to 69.1%. Its unequal nemesis, Airtel Kenya, had a happy period. Airtel’s subscriber base grew from 6.10 million to 7.3 million, translating to a market share of 17.2% from 14.9% – which is a 20% growth. As much as Airtel has Kenya’s opposition leader to thank for this growth, the same cannot be said for Telkom.

Telkom Kenya saw its subscriber base grow during this period, attributed to the company’s rebranding and customer acquisition campaigns proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Telkom grew its subscriber base from 3.4 million at the end of September to 3.8 million at the end of December. This gained weight translated into a market share of 9.0% from 8.4%.

Equitel also recorded some growth, with 1.93 million subscribers from 1.9 million. However, the company’s market share dropped slightly from 4.7% to 4.5%. Tangaza, an MVNO owned by Mobile Pay Limited, focuses solely on mobile money and the telco posted a total of 89,892 subscriptions up from 88,853 subscriptions in the previous quarter, translating to a market share of 0.2%. The last telco on the list is Sema Mobile that focuses on offering customized mobile solutions to communities. Sema Mobile posted a market share of 0.0% with a total of 112 subscribers, a 50.2% drop.


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