As has been the case over previous quarters, the number of mobile subscriptions continue to grow in the Kenyan market. According to the Communications Authority of Kenya that has since published the sector statistics report for the third of 2018/2019 (January 2019 to March 31, 2019), the number of active mobile subscriptions jumped to 51.0 million, which is 0.5 million more than what was registered the previous quarter.
This leap translates to 106.8 percent mobile penetration. Kenya reached 100 percent penetration two quarters ago, making it one of the few African countries that have achieved this feat.
As we have come to expect, Safaricom still leads the pack in terms of market share, although its edge dropped to 62.4 percent from 63.3 percent recorded in the preceding quarter. Safaricom’s share has been declining in the last few quarters after hitting the 72 percent mark at one time.
Airtel Kenya, whose parent company Airtel Africa listed in the London Stock Exchange a few days ago, reported a market share jump by 2.7 percent to 26.1 percent compared to the last quarter.
Similar to Safaricom, Telkom Kenya, which is still pursuing merger talks with Airtel, dropped its share to 7.9 percent from 9.0 percent recorded in the previous quarter. Finserve’s Equitel comes fourth with 3.4 percent.
It is also worth noting that this is the first time Airtel and Telkom’s share has surpassed half the market share of Safaricom. The two operators are also on the forefront to see regulators and legislators declare Safaricom a dominant player.
All carriers have been doing a terrific job popularizing their products and services, which lately include terrific deals for data. Telkom and Airtel Kenya are known for their affordable plans, although Safaricom edges them out in terms of network quality.
The three carriers have since rolled out 4G services, although Airtel was late to the party. Telkom Kenya, on the other hand, is still expanding 3G and 4G coverage, having spent billions of shillings to modernize its fibre backhauls to appeal to more customers.