Kenya registers slight increase in voice, SMS traffic

Written By: Ronald Owili


Kenya recorded a slight increase in voice and SMS traffic between July and September in what the Communications Authority attributes to a jittery election period.

During the first quarter, Kenyans made calls totaling to 11 billion minutes compared to 10 billion minutes recorded in the previous period while the amount of SMSs sent within each network grew 27% to stand at 18.8 billion.

According to CA, Kenya now boasts of a mobile penetration rate of 90.4 percent.

Being a general election year, 2017 has seen a spike in communications especially via the mobile phone.

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The Communications Authority now puts the number of mobile subscribers at 41 million as of September this year. This is a 1.9% increase compared to 40.3 million subscribers recorded in the same period last year.

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Penetration rate has also increased by the same margin to hit 90% compared to 88.7% recorded last year.

CA also highlights the impact the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had in growing SMS traffic as the body relied on SMS to relay results from various polling stations during the August 8 polls.

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Given that a repeat poll was conducted on 0ctober 26th, CA expects the growth to be sustained although slightly.

Similarly, mobile money experienced a surge in transaction volumes. In the three month period, with 28.2 million mobile money subscribers who increased 0.4%, total transactions grew 36.2%, from Ksh 1.2 trillion recorded last year to Ksh 1.7 trillion.

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Mobile data subscriptions also grew 4.3% to reach 30.9 million. According to CA, the internet penetration rate grew 12.5% from 100.1% to 112.7%, while broadband penetration now stands at 38.8%, a 13.5% increase.

CA further expects an upward growth with the entrance of streaming services such as Netflix, Showmax among others. KCSE and KCPE examinations have also had an impact on postal services where 16 million letters were sent in the period under review.


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