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The Telecommunications Sector in Kenya
Kenya’s telecommunications sector grew relatively strongly in 2018, supported mainly by growth in the digital economy, mobile telephony, and internet penetration. Access to the internet is mostly obtained through mobile phones, which have become increasingly available and affordable, and data subscriptions stood at 46.8 million, out of which nearly half were on broadband. The Kenyan government identified the telecommunications industry as a key sector to aid rapid economic growth, and the sector is riding a wave of digital advancement that is expected to affect the telecommunications, digital services and cyber security markets in particular.
Kenya has the world’s highest mobile money penetration rate, with 58% of the population using mobile money. The first mobile money service in Kenya was launched in 2007. At the end of March 2019, active mobile money transfer subscriptions stood at 32 million and there were 223,084 mobile money agents. A total of 784.4 million transactions were made during the quarter to March 2019 and included the purchase of goods and services and person-to-person transfers. Over 80% of mobile money transactions in value terms are transferred on Safaricom’s M-Pesa service.
This report on telecommunications in Kenya focuses on telephony, internet and broadband and the infrastructure that supports them. It includes comprehensive information and key statistics on the industry including telephony, internet, fibre-optic, undersea cables and the internet of things. There are profiles of 19 companies, including Safaricom, which has the highest market share for mobile data subscriptions, and other major players such as Airtel Networks, Finserve Africa, Telkom Kenya and Mobile Pay. Other companies profiled include iWay Africa Kenya, which announced an agreement to merge its internet service provider operations with Echotel International.