Kenya - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Kenya - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

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Executive Summary

Telkom Kenya sale to Helios set to change Kenya’s telecom landscape

Kenya’s telecommunications market continues to undergo substantial changes, prompted by increased competition, improved international connectivity, and rapid developments in the mobile market. The landing of four fibre-optic submarine cables 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, Telkom Kenya, has been managed by Orange Group since 2007 but has struggled to make headway in the competitive market. The group sold its 70% interest in the operator to Helios in November e2015, a move which may yet see the state increase its holding in the company to 40%.

A simplified and converged licensing regime introduced in 2008 has lowered the barriers to market entry and increased competition by allowing operators to offer any kind of service in a technology- and service-neutral regulatory framework. Numerous competitors are rolling out national and metropolitan fibre backbone networks and wireless access networks, delivering services to population centres across the country. Several fibre infrastructure sharing agreements have been forged.

Kenya’s mobile market has continued to grow steadily, supported by a subscriber base of about 40 million by early 2016. Some market consolidation occurred following the acquisition by Airtel and Safaricom of Essar Telecom’s yuMobile business. While all operators have invested in mobile technologies and infrastructure upgrades to support mobile data services, competition has nevertheless presented challenges to the profitability of network operators, with uneven revenue growth reported in recent years. Orange Group is the principal casualty and is in the process of exiting the market. By contrast, Safaricom, controlling two-thirds of the subscriber market, has seen very strong growth on the back of its popular M-PESA payment platform. Competitive pressure has also encouraged players to streamline operations, reduce workforces and sell off their tower portfolios.

To encourage the development of LTE services the government has pursued an open-access approach. A number of MVNO licences awarded since 2014 have added to the competitive mix, with Equitel establishing a market share of about 3% by the end of 2015.

Kenya’s broadband market has been transformed in recent years through a combination of increased investments in network upgrades as well as the landing of submarine cables. This has helped make broadband services affordable for the mass market, while also providing the key backhaul network for the burgeoning mobile broadband sector.

A number of major WiMAX deployments and FttP rollouts have been undertaken, which have pushed fast broadband connectivity to a greater number of subscribers. The number of FttP connections broached 100,000 by September 2015. Most broadband subscribers remain via mobile networks. A range of services including video streaming, e-commerce, e-learning and e-government are evolving rapidly on the back of this improved infrastructure.

This report contains an overview and general analyses of Kenya’s telecom market, including updated statistics, assessments of recent regulatory measures, details on licensing regimes and spectrum allocations, and profiles of the major players. It encompasses developments in the fixed-line voice and broadband sectors, as well as in mobile sectors, including developments in 3G and LTE and the mobile payments and banking ecosystem.

Key developments:

Telecom regulator loses some powers to the Competition Authority of Kenya;

Orange Group agrees to sell its holding in Telkom Kenya to Helios;

Merger and acquisition activity continuing among second-tier telcos;

M-Tiba mobile health payment platform launched;

Regulator proposes limit of ten SIM cards per subscriber;

Safaricom launches Hello Doctor m-medicine service;

One Network Area initiative expands to include mobile data and mobile money services;

Government starts KES17 billion school laptops project;

Report updates include the regulator’s market data updates to September 2015, telcos’ operational and financial data to Q3 2015, recent market developments.


Companies mentioned in this report:

Telkom Kenya (Orange Kenya); Kenya Data Networks (KDN); Jamii Telecom; Access Kenya (Dimension Data); Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC); Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC); Wananchi; Liquid Telecom, Safaricom (Vodafone, IGO Wireless, OneCom); Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel); Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet); Huawei Technologies; ZTE; Alcatel-Lucent; Nokia Networks, SimbaNet; Africa Online; MTN Business Kenya (UUNet); Swift Global; Internet Solutions Kenya (InterConnect); Gilat Satellite Networks; Afsat Communications; Inmarsat; Indigo Telecom (Thuraya); Nation TV (NTV); KenTV.

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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications


1. Key statistics

2. Telecommunications market

2.1 Overview of Kenya's telecom market

3. Regulatory environment

3.1 Kenya Communications Act 1998

3.2 Regulatory authority

3.2.1 Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)

3.3 Revised Telecommunications Market Structure 2004

3.4 Kenya Communications Amendment Act 2009

3.5 Licence fees

3.6 Universal Service Fund (USF)

3.7 Tariff regulation

3.8 Interconnection

3.9 Number portability

3.10 Spectrum auctions

3.11 Foreign ownership

3.12 Dominant market player designation

3.13 Telecom sector liberalisation

3.13.1 Privatisation of Telkom

3.13.2 Regional telecom licences

3.13.3 Second national operator (SNO) licensing

3.13.4 International gateway licences

3.13.5 VoIP telephony

3.13.6 Unified licensing regime

4. Fixed network operators

4.1 Telkom Kenya

4.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)

4.1.2 Tariffs

4.2 Fixed-wireless operators

4.3 Liquid Telecom Kenya (KDN)

4.4 Jamii Telecom

4.5 AccessKenya

5. Telecommunications infrastructure

5.1 National fibre backbone infrastructure

5.1.1 Fixed-line statistics

5.1.2 National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI)

5.1.3 Liquid Telecom

5.1.4 Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC)

5.1.5 Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC)

5.1.6 Safaricom

5.1.7 MTN

5.1.8 Fibre infrastructure sharing

5.2 International infrastructure

5.2.1 Satellite

5.2.2 Terrestrial fibre

5.2.3 Submarine fibre

6. Broadband market

6.1 Introduction and statistical overview

6.1.1 Market analysis

6.1.2 Internet backbone infrastructure

6.1.3 Broadband statistics

6.1.4 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

6.1.5 Facebook and LinkedIn

6.1.6 Public internet access locations

6.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks

6.2.1 Internet Exchange Points (IXP)

6.2.2 Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC)

6.2.3 National broadband strategy

6.2.4 TV white space

6.2.5 ISP market

6.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks

6.4 Other fixed broadband services

6.4.1 Wireless broadband

6.4.2 Broadband via satellite

6.4.3 Leased lines

7. Digital media

7.1 Communications: VoIP

7.1.1 New VoIP guidelines 2005

7.1.2 VoIP licences

7.2 Video streaming

7.3 Social media

7.3.1 Blogs

7.3.2 Facebook

7.4 Digital TV

8. Digital economy

8.1 E-learning

8.1.1 National research and education network (NREN)

8.2 E-commerce

8.3 E-government

9. Mobile communications

9.1 Overview of Kenya's mobile market

9.1.1 General statistics

9.1.2 Mobile subscribers

9.1.3 Mobile voice

9.1.4 Mobile data

9.1.5 Mobile broadband

9.1.6 Forecasts - mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

9.2 Regulatory issues

9.2.1 Roaming

9.2.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)

9.2.3 International gateways

9.2.4 Spectrum

9.2.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

9.2.6 Network sharing

9.2.7 Quality of Service (QoS) control

9.2.8 SIM card registration

9.2.9 Taxes

9.2.10 Tariff regulation

9.3 Mobile infrastructure

9.3.1 Analogue networks

9.3.2 Digital networks

9.3.3 Other infrastructure developments

9.3.4 Satellite mobile

9.4 Major mobile operators

9.4.1 Mobile market shares

9.4.2 Safaricom

9.4.3 Bharti Airtel Kenya (formerly Zain, Celtel, KenCell)

9.4.4 Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet)

9.4.5 Telkom Kenya (Orange Kenya)

9.4.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

9.5 Mobile content and applications

9.5.1 Mobile money transfer, m-banking

9.5.2 Mobile TV

9.5.3 M-medicine

9.5.4 Satellite mobile

9.6 Handsets

Table 1 Country statistics Kenya 2015 (e)

Table 2 Fixed-line statistics 2015 (e)

Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2016

Table 4 Internet user statistics 2015

Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)

Table 6 National telecommunications authority

Table 7 Telecom sector revenue in Kenya 2000 - 2016

Table 8 Fixed-wireless subscriptions in Kenya 2007 - 2015

Table 9 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya 1999 - 2009

Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Kenya 2010 - 2016

Table 11 International bandwidth in Kenya 2000 - 2015

Table 12 International bandwidth capacity by platform 2013 - 2015

Table 13 International bandwidth used 2013 - 2015

Table 14 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Kenya 1999 - 2009

Table 15 Internet users and penetration rate in Kenya 2010 - 2016

Table 16 Internet subscriptions in Kenya 2010 - 2016

Table 17 Wireless internet subscriptions in Kenya by access technology 2010 - 2015

Table 18 Fixed-line internet subscriptions in Kenya by access technology 2010 2015

Table 19 Broadband subscriptions 2014 2016

Table 20 Internet services revenue and investments 2009 - 2014

Table 21 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 22 Fixed-line internet subscribers in Kenya by operator 2013 - 2014

Table 23 AccessKenya corporate leased-line customers 2006 2012

Table 24 Fibre broadband subscribers 2011 - 2015

Table 25 Zuku TV (Kenya) triple-play pricing 2016

Table 26 Mobile services revenue and investments 2008- 2015

Table 27 Mobile traffic share by operator 2014 - 2015

Table 28 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya 1999 - 2009

Table 29 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya 2010 - 2016

Table 30 SMS traffic 2012 - 2015

Table 31 MMS traffic 2012 - 2015

Table 32 Mobile internet subscribers by provider 2013 - 2015

Table 33 Mobile internet market share by provider 2014 - 2015

Table 34 Active mobile broadband subscribers 2010 - 2015

Table 35 Forecast mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 36 Market share of subscribers by operator 2010 2015

Table 37 Safaricom subscribers 2010 - 2015

Table 38 Safaricom revenue 2011 - 2016

Table 39 Safaricom revenue by sector 2010 - 2016

Table 40 Safaricom - proportion of revenue by sector 2014 - 2016

Table 41 Airtel Kenya subscribers 2010 - 2015

Table 42 Historic - Essar Telecom subscribers 2010 - 2014

Table 43 Orange Kenya revenue 2010 - 2014

Table 44 Orange Kenya mobile subscribers 2011 - 2015

Table 45 Mobile money transfer statistics 2011 - 2015

Table 46 Safaricom - M-PESA revenue 2008 - 2016

Table 47 Safaricom active M-PESA customers 2012 - 2015

Table 48 Safaricom M-PESA transactions value by type 2011 - 2016

Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2016

Chart 2 - Internet users and penetration rate in Kenya 2005 - 2016

Chart 3 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya 2005 2016

Chart 4 Market share of subscribers by operator 2010 2015

Exhibit 1 The regulator coup of 2005

Exhibit 2 Definitions - video streaming and IPTV

Exhibit 3 Texting elephants

Exhibit 4 Job offers by SMS

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Telkom Kenya (Orange Kenya), Kenya Data Networks (KDN), Jamii Telecom, Access Kenya (Dimension Data), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), Wananchi, Liquid Telecom, Safaricom (Vodafone, IGO Wireless, OneCom), Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel), Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet), Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Networks, SimbaNet, Africa Online, MTN Business Kenya (UUNet), Swift Global, Internet Solutions Kenya (InterConnect), Gilat Satellite Networks, Afsat Communications, Inmarsat, Indigo Telecom (Thuraya), Nation TV (NTV), KenTV.

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