EQUITEL, the telecommunications arm of Equity Group, grew its share of the mobile telephony market to 2.4 per cent in June from 1.9 per cent in March, fresh official data showed on Friday, as big players marginally lost ground.
Communications Authority, the industry regulator, reported that while Equitel gained 0.5 per cent share, giant Safaricom and Airtel shed 0.1 and 0.8 per cent per cent share, respectively.
Telkom Kenya’s Orange however gained an 0.4 per cent additional share of the 36.11 million-subscriber market – a 3.7 per cent rise over the three months.
This means 3.9 million subscribers enrolled to the mobile network during the 12-month period to June having been at 32.2 million in June 2014.
Mobile penetration however dropped by 1.6 per cent to 83.9 per cent after population estimates were revised to 43 million from 40.7 million previously.
Safaricom’s overall share fell for the third straight quarter to 67 per cent, followed by Indian Bharti-owned Airtel Kenya at a distant 19.4 per cent, while France Telecom’s controlled Orange’s share was 11.2 per cent.
Safaricom still controlled the lion’s share of the subscribers with 24.18 million customers, a rise of 2.4 per cent quarter on quarter. Subscriptions to Airtel fell by 0.2 per cent to seven million customers, while Orange’s and Equitel’s rose by 0.8 and 0.6 per cent , respectively, to stand 4.05 million and 873,643.
“The number of mobile money transfer subscriptions rose by 3.5 per cent to stand at 27.7 million during the quarter under review up from 26.7 million subscriptions in the previous quarter,” CA said in the report. “When compared to the same period of the previous year, there was a 7.9 per cent growth.”
Active mobile money transfer agents increased to 129,357 from 126,622 in the previous quarter, and were 16.7 per cent compared to the same quarter of last year.
During the three-month period, Kenyans spent 7.9 billion minutes on on-net calls from 7.5 billion minutes the previous quarter, while off-net calls reached 1.2 billion, marginally improved from 1.2 billion in March.
“The volume of SMS sent throughout the year grew significantly to 27.4 billion up from 24.4 billion messages sent during the previous year,” CA said. “This could be attributed to the lowering of SMS tariff and provision of lucrative SMS bundles by a majority of mobile operators.”