Summary of Kenyan mobile telephony Stats by CCK- 29.7 Million subscribers recorded

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So the new CCK stats for the fourth quarter of the FY 2011/12 are out and here is the summary and my thoughts on some parts:

  • As at 30th June 2012, there were 29.70 million mobile telephony subscriptions compared to 29.21 million subscriptions posted as at 31st March 2012.

The most interesting aspect of the new subscription figure is that when compared to last year, this represented 17.5 percent annual growth. And so with that the Kenyan mobile penetration rate now stands at 75.4. If Kenyan adults were to be taken in isolation, it is possible that we have 100 percent mobile penetration among the adults in the country. I think it is highly possible considering the fact that children still make the majority of Kenyan population.

  • Total local mobile traffic declined by 6.9 percent during the quarter to record 6.3 billion minutes down from 6.8 billion minutes recorded in the previous quarter.

According to CCK, the decline could be attributed to the decreased promotions by operators. Mmmh I wish one of these days they start coming to terms with the use of Social Media around here. Starting from Safaricom who now sort out over a million complains monthly through Twitter, without which all those could be calling. I have also noticed a trend where  a boyfriend and a girlgriend communicate almost entirely on twitter, sharing and not limited to stuff like food they ate last night. Even texting is losing ground to social media on view, the number of SMS per subscriber per month decreased by 5.1 percent during the period from 11.7 SMS posted in the previous period to 11.1 SMS in the quarter under review. I think CCK need to be welcomed to the world of Social Media.

But overall it should be noted that there was an annual growth in local mobile traffic of 9.1 percent from 24.7 billion minutes recorded in the FY 2010/11 to 26.9 billion minutes recorded in the FY 2011/12.

  • In the Internet/data market segment, the number of subscriptions rose by 19.2 percent, from 6.4 million subscriptions recorded in the previous period to 7.7 million subscriptions during the quarter under review. Annual subscriptions grew by 81.7 percent from 4.2million recorded during the FY 2011/2012.

Somebody predicted that the voice is almost dead in Kenya and the future is data. From what we have seen above he might not be far off in the near future. But at this stage it is too early to engage in such talks or prediction, bulk of the revenue for mobile operators in Kenya is still from the voice and the data contribution is still tiny. Having say that the 7.7 million figure is very important especially to developers. It represents the stable internet users in Kenya who can be relied on to access a product or service in a daily basis. For the app developers and other startups in the same kind of business, 98.9 percent subscribers access the net through the mobile phones

  • The number of estimated Internet users rose by 18.5 to stand at 14.032 million users during the quarter under review.

The number of the internet users is usually based on the estimation by CCK, so be prepared to question it as much as you want. According to CCK Internet users is estimated by multiplying by 1 the number of mobile data/internet subscriptions, by 10 terrestrial wireless subscriptions and by 100 fixed DSL, fibre optic and satellite subscriptions. For the purpose of the report the methodology adopted is borrowed from the Internet Market Study 2006.

  • Broadband subscriptions increased by 11.5 percent from 651,738 recorded in the previous quarter to 726,802 recorded during the quarter under review.

If you did not know the Broadband in Kenya is defined as speeds greater than or equal to 256Kbps in one or both directions.  After Safaricom and Orange Kenya launched 42mpbs in Kenya and Artel is selling in what they define as 3.75G, you would expect that definition to be adjusted upwards. To be fair to CCK, getting 250kbps in both directions in Kenya is rare and limited to mostly major towns.   One of the hotly debated topics during the Freedom Online conference held in Kenya recently is the issue of access and the so called digital divide.

  • International connectivity bandwidth increased by 58.0 percent to 264,584 Mbps posted during the quarter under review. The total available bandwidth in the country was recorded as 574,704 Mbps3 during the quarter under review.

Ok, ok, according to that the used bandwidth represented 46.0 percent of the total available bandwidth capacity. One question I have to the Mobile network operators and ISPs is that does the unused bandwidth help anybody? I guess the time to reduce the prices to help with the uptake of the idle bandwidth is now.

  • During the period under review, Q4 2011/12, Safaricom Ltd market share by subscription dropped from 65.3 percent recorded the previous to 64.0 percent. Telkom’s (Orange) recorded a decline of 0.1 percentage points to record 10.5 percent market share at the end of the quarter. Airtel and Essar saw their market shares rise by 1.2 percentage points and 0.3 percentage points to reach 16.5 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively at the end of the quarter.

Artel Kenya and Yu have deployed almost similar tactics in terms of pricing of the voice calls and the data. I guess that has worked to their favour on this quarter, but I have to say that in the last quarter before this it was Safaricom which gained the highest number users. With that is not possible at this time to say that the lower pricing strategy is working in favour of Airtel and Yu.. We would need to have constant gain for the two to make any conclusion. I will love to know especially on the next report on how the recent event in which over 1.5 fake mobile phones were switched off affected the market share of each of these operators. Actually the right word should be in terms of active users. Airtel had the highest numbers of the fake phones in its network, 840000. Although the subscribers will remain subscribers the active users and bottom line could be affected by the CCK madness

  • Mobile money transfer service subscriptions grew by  2.73 percent , from 18.98 million recorded the previous quarter to 19.50 million during the quarter under review. On an annual basis, mobile money transfer subscriptions grew by 12.13 percent from 17.3 million recorded at the end of the FY 2010/11 to 19.50 at the end of the FY2011/12.

This is my favourite, it is one thing that Kenya clearly leads the World on. And The total deposits handled during the period under review grew by 4.0 percent from 185.36 billion recorded during the previous period to 192.73 billion recorded during the period under review. Think about that…and give me your comment

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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