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Kenya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Kenya - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • April 2020
  • 146 pages
  • ID: 5355160
  • Format: PDF
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd

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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 2019 the company signed a merger agreement with Airtel Kenya in which Telkom will retain a 49% share in the merged business which will 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 94% in the year to September 2018.

The analyst 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 agrees to merger with Airtel Kenya;
Kenya sees a 41% increase in international bandwidth in the year to September 2018;
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 September 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, 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)
Henry LancasterApril 2019

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