Airtel, Telkom Kenya Voice Traffic Up as Mobile Money Subscriptions Approach 30 Million


Mobile MoneyThe Communications Authority of Kenya’s sector statistics report for the first quarter of 2018/2019 was released earlier today. Among the most interesting aspects of the report include a massive drop in the number of subscribers who use Microsoft’s co-owned Mawingu Network that takes advantage of TV whitespaces, as well as notable growth in subscriber count for Airtel and Telkom Kenya.

Regarding mobile money services, the data collected by the Authority shows that the number of active mobile money subscriptions is 300,000 shy of 30 million. These users are served by 218,495 agents across the country.

Safaricom’s M-PESA commands the lion’s share of agents at 162,800 as of September 2018. Airtel Money is second with 27,267 agents. Recently launched T-Kash has 21,538, an okay number owing to the fact that the product went live this year. Interestingly, T-Kash’s agent network is closing in on Airtel, the latter of which has been in the market for a longer time.

It should also be noted that Telkom Kenya’s financial product can now be used by businesses for payments.

Additional trends in mobile money are replicated according to each carrier’s market share. For instance, M-PESA cannibalized the competition in the number/value of transactions performed and person to person transfers. This information is summarized in the table below.

CA Mobile Money
Source: CA

Voice traffic

Safaricom still leads mobile voice traffic. However, its voice market share dropped to 62.1 percent, a setback that has been attributed to short expiry time for the Tunukiwa promotional bundles.

Airtel and Telkom’s voice traffic grew by 13.8% and 15.6 percent, a feat that has been linked to the carriers’ multiple voice products, including the Vuka 2 Tariff charges KES 2 per minute across all networks, and Telkom’s deals that charge as low as KES 1.50 per minute across all networks.