Telkom, Safaricom Lose Market Share as Kenya Hits Record High Mobile Penetration

Telkom Kenya

New numbers from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) are here. As it has always been the case, the numbers round up several elements of the ICT space in Kenya, this time around for the third quarter of 2019/2020 (January to March 2020).

As expected, mobile penetration has hit an all-time record high at 116.1%. The percentage follows millions of active mobile subscriptions at 55.2 million. The development has always been associated with people owning multiple SIM cards as they search for the best value in voice and data.

The quarter saw operators register 1.9 million new SIM cards, up from 1.3 new SIM cards that were registered in the previous quarter.

In the same period, both Safaricom and Telkom Kenya lost market share by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. Now, Safaricom’s share is at 64.8% (at one time it was slightly above 70%) and Telkom’s is at 5.8%.

Only Airtel Kenya gained market share by 0.7% to record a market share of 26.6%. Equitel did not register any changes with its 3.1% market share.

The data reveals that Safaricom is still the biggest player in the mobile telephony space, followed by Airtel, Telkom, and Equitel. The ranking is nothing new because the space has always followed this trend.


The majority of Kenyans are using pre-pay services at 50.9 million. Only 4.2 million Kenyans are on post-pay – the majority of which use Telkom Kenya (3.1 million) and 1 million from Safaricom.

Safaricom serves a total of 35.6 million subscriptions, followed by Airtel at 14.6 million, Telkom at 3.1 million, and Equitel at 1.7 million.