Number of mobile subscribers dips slightly in the quarter ending March 2013

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The number of mobile subscribers in the country has dropped from 30.7 million to 29.8 million between January and March this year.

According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) quarterly Sector Statistics Report for January to March 2013, the decline is attributed to the de-activation of 2.4million unregistered SIM cards during the quarter.

The decrease in mobile subscription resulted in a decline in mobile penetration from 78% in the previous quarter to 75.8% in the period under review. Similarly, the total mobile traffic declined by 1.2 per cent to stand at 7.2billion minutes down from 7.3billion recorded in the previous quarter.

Uptake of mobile money expanded with subscriptions increasing by 10.1 per cent to reach 23.2million. This growth is attributed to the convenience as well as the value-added services of facilitating payments for goods and services. The number of mobile money transfer agents rose to 74,216 up from 62,300 reported in the previous quarter creating at least 11,916 additional direct jobs in mobile money transfer service during the third quarter.

During the same period, the internet/data market grew to reach 9.6million subscriptions. Mobile data/internet subscriptions continued to dominate the market contributing 99% of the total subscriptions. During the quarter, the number of active registered domain names increased by 3.1% to reach 25,764 from 24,983 recorded in the previous quarter.

Broadband subscriptions grew by 17.5% to reach 1.17million while international internet bandwidth available in the country increased to 921,319 Mbps. The implementation of the National Broadband Strategy launched recently is expected to accelerate the uptake of broadband in the country.

CCK continues to ensure plurality and diversity in the broadcasting industry by issuing temporary authorisation to 10 new TV stations to provide content on the digital platform, bringing the total number of entities issued with temporary authorisation to 84. The total number of FM radio stations stood at 102 while that of existing analogue TV channels which had activated their TV signal on the digital broadcasting platform stood at 13 at end of the third quarter.  

In the postal and courier industry, eight courier operators were licensed during the quarter but the number of postal outlets declined by 1.9% to reach 622 outlets from 634 in the previous quarter.

For more details, see the full sector quarterly report at http://www.cck.go.ke/resc/downloads/Sector_Statistics_Report_for_3rd_Quarter_2012-2013.pdf