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Kenya’s mobile market ‘shrinks’ by 900,000 subscribers

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Mobile subscriber numbers in Kenya have fallen from 30.7 million to 29.8 million between January and March this year.

This is according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) quarterly ‘Sector Statistics Report for January to March 2013’.

The regulator says the decline has mainly been attributed to the deactivation of 2.4 million unregistered SIM cards during the quarter.

The CCK adds that the decrease in mobile subscriptions has resulted in a fall in mobile penetration figures from 78% in the previous quarter to 75.8% in the period under review.

Also, total mobile traffic declined by 1.2% to stand at 7.2 billion minutes, down from 7.3 billion recorded in the previous quarter, says the CCK.

Meanwhile, the CCK says the uptake of mobile money expanded with subscriptions increasing by 10.1% to reach 23.2 million.

The CCK says the number of mobile money transfer agents also rose to 74,216 up from 62,300 reported in the previous quarter.

“The popularity of the service, coupled with its ease and convenience in use as well as facilitation of electronic payments have continued to be the main drivers behind this growth,” says the CCK in its report.

Regarding the country’s internet and data market, this segment grew to reach 9.6 million subscriptions by end of March 2013, according to the regulator.

“Mobile data/internet subscriptions continued to dominate the market contributing 99% of the total subscriptions,” says the CCK.

“Broadband subscriptions grew by 17.5% to reach 1.17 million while international internet bandwidth available in the country increased to 921,319 Mbps,” the CCK adds.

As the country’s internet market has experienced strong growth, Kenya’s number of active registered domain names have subsequently increased by 3.1% to reach 25,764 from 24,983 recorded in the previous quarter as well.

And with regard to the broadcasting industry, the CCK says it has issued temporary authorisation to 10 TV stations to provide content on digital systems. This brings the total number of entities issued with temporary authorisation to 84, says the CCK.

The total number of FM radio stations in the country for the studied period also stood at 102 while that of existing analogue TV channels, which have activated their TV signal on the digital broadcasting platform, stood at 13 at end of the third quarter.

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