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Kenya's mobile operators progress with 5G trials
[June 10, 2020]

Kenya's mobile operators progress with 5G trials


Sydney, June 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just released, this edition of Paul Budde Communication’s focus report on Kenya outlines the major developments and key aspects in the telecoms markets.
Read the full report: https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Kenya-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-Statistics-and-Analyses

Kenya’s telecommunications market continues to undergo considerable changes in the wake of increased competition, improved international connectivity, and rapid developments in the mobile market. The landing of four fibre-optic international submarine cables in recent years dramatically reduced the cost of phone calls and internet access, allowing internet services to be affordable to a far greater proportion of the population. In parallel, the sector’s regulator has reduced interconnection tariffs and implemented a range of regulations aimed at developing further competition.

The incumbent fixed-line telco has struggled to make headway in this market, prompting reorganisation in 2018 which included a sale and leaseback arrangement with its mobile tower portfolio. In early 2020 competition authorities approved the acquisition of Telkom Kenya by Airtel Kenya, with the new merged operator able to provide a greater challenge to the market dominance of Safaricom.

Numerous competitors are rolling out national and metropolitan fibre backbone networks and wireless access networks to deliver services to population centres across the country. Several fibre infrastructure sharing agreements have been forged, and as a result the number of fibre broadband connections increased 53% in 2019, year-on-year. Much of the progress in the broadband segment is due to the government’s revised national broadband strategy, which has been updated with goals through to 2030, and which are largely dependent on mobile broadband platforms based on LTE and 5G.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya secure approvals for their merger;
  • Alphabet’s Loon balloons finally come into service;
  • Kenya sees a 35% increase in international bandwidth in 2019;
  • Universal Service Fund extends mobile coverage to underserved northern regions;
  • Safaricom launches M-PESA Global payment service;
  • Government proposes increase in m-money transfer tax;
  • Regulator introduces a new system to measure QoS parameters;
  • M-money interoperability starts;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2019, operator data to Q1 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telecom, Access Kenya (Dimension Data), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), Wananchi, Safaricom, Bharti Airtel, MTN, Liquid Telecom, Essar Telkom Kenya, Mobile Pay (Tangaza Pesa), Zioncell Kenya, Finserve Africa (Equitel), Kenya Data Networks (KDN), Jamii Telecom, SimbaNet, Africa Online, Access Kenya (Dimension Data), Wananchi Online, Swift Global, Internet Solutions Kenya (InterConnect), Gilat Satellite Networks, Afsat Communications, Inmarsat, Indigo Telecom (Thuraya), Nation TV (NTV)

  • Key statistics
  • Regional African Market Comparison
    • TMI vs GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband
    • Fixed and mobile broadband
  • Country overview
  • COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector
    • Economic considerations and responses
    • Mobile devices
    • Subscribers
    • Infrastructure
  • Telecommunications market
    • Market analysis
  • Regulatory environment
    • Regulatory authority
    • Fixed-line developments
      • Kenya Communications Act 1998
      • Revised Telecommunications Market Structure 2004
      • Kenya Communications Amendment Act 2009
      • Licence fees
      • Universal Service Fund (USF)
      • Interconnection
      • Number portability
      • Spectrum auctions
      • Foreign ownership
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Privatisation of Telkom
      • Regional telecom licences
      • Second national operator (SNO) licensing
      • International gateway licences
      • Unified licensing regime
    • Mobile network developments
      • Roaming
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
      • International gateways
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Network sharing
      • Quality of Service (QoS)
      • SIM card registration
      • Taxes
      • Tariff regulation
  • Mobile market
    • General statistics
    • Mobile data
      • SMS
      • MMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • 2G
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • Major mobile operators
      • Mobile market share by operator
      • Safaricom
      • Airtel Kenya
      • Essar Telecom Kenya
      • Telkom Kenya
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • Mobile money transfer, m-banking
      • M-medicine
      • Handsets
  • Fixed-line broadband market
    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Internet backbone infrastructure
      • Broadband statistics
      • Public internet access locations
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
      • Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC)
      • National broadband strategy
      • ISP market
    • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • Other fixed broadband services
      • Wireless broadband
      • Broadband via satellite
      • Project Loon
  • Digital economy
    • E-learning
      • National research and education network (NREN)
    • E-commerce
    • E-government
    • E-agriculture
  • Fixed network operators
    • Telkom Kenya
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • Liquid Telecom Kenya (KDN)
    • Jamii Telecom
    • AccessKenya
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI)
      • Liquid Telecom
      • Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC)
      • Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC)
      • Safaricom
      • MTN
      • Fibre infrastructure sharing
      • Data centres
      • Smart infrastructure
    • International infrastructure
      • Satellite
      • Terrestrial fibre
      • Submarine fibre
  • Appendix – Historic data
  • Glossary of abbreviations
  • Related reports



List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Kenya – 2020 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom sector revenue in Kenya – 2007 – 2017
  • Table 3 – Annual mobile number portings – 2013- 2019
  • Table 4 – Change in the share of mobile voice traffic share by operator – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 5 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 – 2025
  • Table 6 – Change in the number of prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014- 2019
  • Table 7 – Change in SMS traffic by quarter – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Change in the volume of SMS domestic annual traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 9 – Change in the number of mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 10 – Change in the share of mobile data subscribers by provider – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 11 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2025
  • Table 12 – Change in the number of mobile data subscribers – 2015 – 2019
  • Table 14 – Increase in Safaricom’s revenue – 2011 – 2020
  • Table 15 – Change in Safaricom’s revenue by sector – 2010 – 2020
  • Table 16 – Change in the proportion of Safaricom’s service revenue by sector – 2014 – 2020
  • Table 17 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2020
  • Table 18 – Safaricom economic contribution – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 19 – Change in Safaricom’s mobile ARPU by platform – 2018 – 2020
  • Table 22 – Change in the number of Telkom Kenya’s mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 23 – Growth in the number of Finserve’s mobile subscribers – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 24 – Mobile Pay mobile subscribers – 2018 – 2019
  • Table 25 – Growth in mobile money penetration rate – 2013 – 2020
  • Table 26 – Change in the number of m-money subscribers and agents – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 27 – Mobile money subscribers by operator – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 28 – Growth in the number of m-money transactions and value – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 29 – Growth in Safaricom’s M-PESA revenue – 2008 – 2020
  • Table 30 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s active M-PESA customers – 2012 – 2020
  • Table 31 – Change in Safaricom’s M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 32 – Growth in the number of internet subscriptions – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 33 – Growth in the number of wireless internet subscriptions by access technology – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 34 – Change in the number of fixed-line broadband subscriptions by access technology – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 35 – Change in the number of fixed-line broadband subscriptions by access technology – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 36 – Change in the number of fixed-line broadband subscriptions and penetration – 2010 – 2025
  • Table 37 – Growth in the number of broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 38 – Decline in the number of DSL subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 39 – Market share of fixed broadband subscribers by operator – 2018 - 2019
  • Table 40 – Safaricom fixed broadband subscribers – 2015 – 2020
  • Table 41 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s fibre broadband premises covered – 2016 – 2020
  • Table 42 – Growth in the number of fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 43 – Change in the number of cable broadband subscribers – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 44 – Fixed-wireless subscriptions in Kenya – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 45 – Change in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2025
  • Table 46 – Growth in international internet bandwidth – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 47 – International bandwidth capacity by platform – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 48 – International bandwidth used – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 49 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 50 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 51 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1999 – 2010
  • Table 52 – Historic - International internet bandwidth– 2000 – 2009
  • Table 53 – Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers – 2010 – 2014
  • Table 54 – Historic - Telkom Kenya revenue – 2010 – 2014
  • Table 55 – Historic - Internet services revenue and investments – 2009 – 2015
  • Table 56 – Historic - Telkom fixed-line subscribers – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 57 – Historic - MMS traffic – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 58 – Historic - ICT sector revenue in Kenya – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 59 – Historic - Mobile services revenue and investments – 2009- 2017
  • Table 60 – Historic - 2G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2017
  • Table 61 – Historic - 3G Mobile base stations by operator – 2012- 2017

List of Charts


  • Chart 1 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 2 – East Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 3 – Africa – Bottom-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Emergents)
  • Chart 4 – East Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country
  • Chart 5 – East Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 6 – East Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates
  • Chart 7 – Change in the share of mobile voice traffic share by operator – 2014 – 2019
  • Chart 8 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya – 2010 – 2025
  • Chart 9 – Change in the number of prepaid and contract mobile subscribers – 2014- 2019
  • Chart 10 – Change in SMS traffic by quarter – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Change in the volume of SMS domestic annual traffic – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 12 – Change in the number of mobile internet subscribers by provider – 2013 – 2019
  • Chart 13 – Change in the share of mobile data subscribers by provider – 2014 – 2019
  • Chart 14 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 – 2025
  • Chart 17 – Change in Safaricom’s revenue by sector – 2010 – 2020
  • Chart 18 – Change in the proportion of Safaricom’s service revenue by sector – 2014 – 2020
  • Chart 19 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2020
  • Chart 20 – Change in Safaricom’s mobile ARPU by platform – 2018 – 2020
  • Chart 21 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s base stations by technology – 2013 – 2020
  • Chart 22 – Growth in the number of Airtel Kenya’s mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 23 – Change in the number of Telkom Kenya’s mobile subscribers – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 24 – Growth in the number of Finserve’s mobile subscribers – 2014 – 2019
  • Chart 25 – Change in the number of m-money subscribers and agents – 2012 – 2019
  • Chart 27 – Growth in the number of m-money transactions and value – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 28 – Growth in Safaricom’s M-PESA revenue – 2008 – 2020
  • Chart 29 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s active M-PESA customers – 2012 – 2020
  • Chart 30 – Change in Safaricom’s M-PESA transactions value by type – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 31 – Growth in the number of internet subscriptions – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 32 – Change in the number of fixed-line broadband subscriptions by access technology – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 33 – Change in the number of fixed-line broadband subscriptions and penetration – 2010 – 2025
  • Chart 34 – Decline in the number of DSL subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 35 – Growth in the number of Safaricom’s fibre broadband premises covered – 2016 – 2020
  • Chart 36 – Growth in the number of fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 37 – Change in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2025

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – East Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 – Texting elephants
  • Exhibit 4 – Job offers by SMS
  • Exhibit 5 – 2Africa submarine cable
  • Exhibit 6 – 2Africa landing stations

Read the full report: https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Kenya-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-Statistics-and-Analyses

Nicolas Bombourg
nbombourg@budde.com.au

Within Australia
(02) 8076 7665

Outside Australia
+44 207 097 1241

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