Kenya’s Telecom Sector Thrives: International Traffic Surges, Internet Capacity Grows Amidst Evolving Trends

CA’s report reveals significant increases in international voice traffic, internet capacity, and mobile subscriptions in Kenya.

Incoming and outgoing international mobile voice traffic increased by 25.3 percent to record 85.3 million minutes and 4.8 percent to post 179.7 million minutes, respectively, between July and September 2023.

According to CA’s most recent sector statistics report, which was made public, the country’s hosting of the African Climate Summit in September 2023 was the reason for the expansion. The incoming and outgoing international mobile SMS were recorded at 9.4 million and 3.7 million messages, respectively.

International incoming and outgoing voice minutes within the East Africa Community countries accounted for the bulk of the voice minutes made internationally at 64,803,006 and 109,728,756, respectively, while incoming and outgoing mobile voice minutes to other countries stood at 20,455,060 and 69,972,249, respectively.

The minutes of use per subscriber each month increased throughout the evaluation period to a record 110.3 minutes. The Authority ascribed the rise to the rise in mobile subscriptions during the reference period, in addition to the different voice and package incentives provided by the service providers.

However, because of fierce competition from alternative over-the-top (OTT) messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, and Signal—which are becoming more and more popular as a result of expanding broadband coverage—the number of short messages sent by each subscription each month has continued to drop.

The total international Internet bandwidth capacity in the country grew by 5.0 percent to 17,353.722 Gbps from 16,523.303 Gbps reported in the preceding quarter. Further, utilization of undersea bandwidth rose by 13.3 to record 10,964.87 Gbps, out of which 8,011.046 Gbps were used in the country and 2,953.820 Gbps were sold outside the country.

The total international Internet bandwidth capacity in the country grew by 5.0 percent to 17,353.722 Gbps from 16,523.303 Gbps reported in the preceding quarter. Further, utilization of undersea bandwidth rose by 13.3 to record 10,964.87 Gbps, out of which 8,011.046 Gbps were used in the country and 2,953.820 Gbps were sold outside the country. While machine-to-machine subscriptions decreased by 3.2 percent to 1,523,310 from 1,574,171 in the prior quarter, mobile subscriptions increased by 1 percent to 67,122,320 during the quarter.

There were 49,331,154 mobile data subscribers, up from 49,55,495 the previous month. There were 38.1 million mobile money subscribers, which translates to a 75.2 percent penetration rate. This is an increase of 0.1 percentage points over the previous quarter’s penetration rate.

The company with the greatest average on-net minutes per call was Airtel Networks Ltd., whereas the company with the highest average off-net minutes per call was Jamii Telecommunications Ltd. This is explained by the two operators’ reasonable pricing.

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