Safaricom Mobile Data Gains Accelerate During the Pandemic


With a 4.8% and 10.5% drop in service revenue and profits before interest and tax, operator Safaricom did not have a very good HY of the assessed 2020/2021 FY.

The company makes a lot of its money from voice and M-PESA. However, the two registered a drop in revenue. This also marked the first time the operator has seen dipped returns on its M-PESA platform that has been raking in billions from quarter to quarter in the past.

According to CEO Peter Ndegwa, business performance has been bad for many entities, notably due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The operator has since zero-rated many of its transactions, including person to person exchanges under KES 1000.

While the said departments that have traditionally performed well were hurting, the company appears to have made significant gains in the data department, a lucrative segment that has seen it cash in handsomely in the past.

Mobile data made Safaricom Kes 11.3 billion in Q2 FY 21, and KES 22.2 billion in HY21.

Overall, mobile data grew 14.1% YoY

At the end of the review period, Safaricom reported 30.3 million active one-month mobile data customers.

Those why distinctly buy data bundles are at 15.7 million. About 10 million Safaricom customers use more than 100 Mbs of data.

At the end of the review period, the carrier reported it had registered 7.1 million active 4G devices. Out of those phones, almost 4 million of them use over 1 GB of data per month.

Safaricom has been promising to avail 4G services to the entire country since its rebrand in 2019. By the end of that year, it had installed 4G infrastructure in the majority of Kenya’s urban centres.

The service is crrently gearing to cover the state by the end of 2020. At the moment, it has 5195 4G sites.

Part of these developments can be attributed to the pandemic; people have been working from home, students have been reading online, and with a lot of time at hand, the same people have been entertaining themselves using a variety of services available on their phones.