Internet users nearly doubled last year as data prices fell and Kenyans increasingly used the Web to communicate, to the detriment of voice services.
The Communications Commission of Kenya’s (CCK) report for the second quarter of the 2011/2012 financial year says the number of Internet users rose by 95.63 per cent to 17.38 million in the calendar year ending December 2011.
“The cost of accessing the Internet has gone down, largely because of increased capacity,” said CCK acting director-general Francis Wangusi.
The latest data shows a situation where mobile telephony companies are diversifying into other sources of revenue to beat growing competition in the voice market space.
Last year, Kenyans transacted Sh177 billion over mobile money services. This translates to Sh58 billion a month.
A price war waged last year in the telecom sector saw voice tariffs fall to an average Sh2 per minute from Sh6 per minute, reducing commercial viability of the segment.
“In the future, there will be less revenues from the traditional cash cow — voice,” said Communication PS Bitange Ndemo.
Total available bandwidth in the country was recorded at about 5 million megabytes per second, a 25-fold increase from 2010.
Telkom Kenya’s EASSY cable contributed about 94 per cent of this capacity.
However, the country is using only about 1.01 per cent of this capacity as Internet remains beyond the reach of the majority of the population.
Many Kenyans accessed the Internet through their mobile phones, with mobile data subscriptions accounting for 98 per cent of all Internet subscriptions.
Mobile penetration was recorded at 71.3 per cent, up from 63.4 per cent in the previous year.
The number of mobile subscribers grew to 28 million with Safaricom holding a majority 19 million subscribers.
Source: Daily Nation