More Than 18.5 Million Smartphones Are Connected To Safaricom Network

Hauwei Nova 9 SE 108MP camera
Hauwei Nova 9 SE 108MP camera

Safaricom has released its full-year results for the 2022 FY. Other than M-PESA being the telco’s leading service revenue earner, the carrier has also announced plans to launch a virtual card for international payments, which it should have done years ago. Safaricom is also planning to launch M-PESA Junior Accounts for minors who do not have IDs but still have access to phones. The development is subject to regulatory approval, but should authorities approve it, then the product should be here before the end of Q2.

Now, to other parts of the results: mobile data. It is common knowledge that Safaricom has the most robust network around, which is why millions of Kenyans would rather use it, although it is more expensive than the competition.

According to the operator, mobile data recovered substantially in H2 FY22, rising 10 percent YoY to KES 24.81 billion, 6.3 percent in H1 FY22 to KES 23.63 billion, and 8.1 percent in FY22 to KES 48.44 billion.

Safaricom adds that these developments were supported by its Customer Value Management initiatives that drove personalized offers.

Nevertheless, data performance in H1 FY22 was affected by absorbed excise duty adjustments from August 2021. The law slowed down the industry momentum and price rationalizations.

Additional details about data performance are as follows:

  1. The average rate per MB declined by 31.2% YoY to 8.88 Cents while usage per chargeable data subscriber grew 60.5% YoY to 2.3GB.
  2. Mobile Data ARPU increased 10.4% to KES 205.73. The launch of the “Mwelekeo Ni Internet” campaign launched in November 2021 introduced affordable data offers and new use cases effectively driving affordability and usage.

Onto devices, the number of active 4G devices on the Safaricom network jumped 29.3 percent YoY to nearly 11 million, of which 51.3 percent are 4G handsets using more than 1 GB of data.

Data customers using more than 1GB in the Safaricom network grew 26.5% YoY to 7.7 million. Mobile data now accounts for 17.2% of Service Revenue.

4G population coverage now stands at 97% and smartphones in its network grew 10.2% to 18.5 million.

“In the past financial year, our immediate focus was to be a customer-obsessed, digital-first organization by the end of FY22 in order to be a purpose-led Technology Company by 2025. We made great strides that delivered double-digit service revenue growth and afforded us valuable lessons to unlock our next growth phase. We embodied our four cardinal virtues of the Spirit of Safaricom during the reporting period in our operations including customer obsession, purpose, innovation, and collaboration,” notes CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Safaricom has since launched operations in Ethiopia. It already has a management team in place, and based on its license agreement with Ethiopian authorities, it should be rolling out 4G service by 2023.

Ethio Telecoms has already beaten it to the punch after it launched pilot 5G test in Addis in partnership with Huawei and ZTE. Locally, the carrier is planning to launch 5G commercially before the year ends, or sometime in 2023.