Only 26 Million Smartphones Are Accessing Mobile Networks in Kenya as Feature Phones Lead

Nokia 3310 Screen

Postpay and Prepaid Services in Kenya

Have you ever asked yourself how many Kenyans use post-pay services?

Well, the numbers are quite low because the market is more inclined to pre-paid contracts.

This makes it easier for consumers to communicate because they can easily top up their lines with airtime they can afford.

It is also different from what the West does, where customers pick their phones (mostly smartphones) on a contract that also includes talk time, SMS, and data.

 In Kenya, only the three leading operators offer post-pay services.

The total number of post-pay customers stands at 1,265,658, which is just 1.9 percent of the overall mobile subscriptions.

There are more than 63.6 million pre-pay customers who access mobile services over five telcos (Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom. Equitel, and Jamii Telecom).

To note, these are the new numbers by the Communications Authority of Kenya following an assessment of the first quarter of the 2021/2022 FY (July to September 2021).

Safaricom takes the lion’s share of both contract types: it has 1,136,887 post-pay customers alongside 40.8 million prepaid customers.

Airtel has 85K post-pay customers, and Telkom Kenya closes the chapter with 43K post-pay users.

The rest of the pre-pay customers are as follows: Airtel – 17 million, Telkom – 4.1 million, Equitel – 1.4 million, and JTL at 214,299.

This means that Safaricom leads the pack in terms of % mobile subscriptions at 64.6, followed by Airtel, Telkom, Equitel, and JTL at 26.4, 6.4, 2.3, and 0.3, respectively.

Mobile phone devices

At the end of the reviewed quarter, 59.0 million mobile phone devices were accessing local mobile networks.

33.0 million of the devices are feature/dumbphones.

Only 26.0 million of the devices were smartphones.

This means that the penetration levels of dumb and smartphones were at 67.9 percent and 53.4 percent, respectively.

Finally, the majority of these devices access the internet using LTE services (13.9 million subscriptions), although 3G is close as well at 12.9 million subscriptions.