M-Pesa customers transact at an agent shop. M-Pesa and Safaricom have been ranked as East Africa's top brand

The value of mobile money transactions hit the Ksh 2 trillion milestone for the first time, even as mobile penetration s**t to the 100% mark, the latest industry sector statistics report shows.

The report released on Tuesday by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) covering July-September 2018 indicates that 730.2 million transactions valued at Ksh 2.027 trillion were recorded during the period up from 611.3 million transactions valued at Ksh 1.9 billion the previous quarter.

At the same time, mobile commerce transactions went up by 8.8% to reach 526.9 million valued at Ksh 1.5 5 trillion while person-to-person transfers were valued at Ksh 718.2 billion.

Additionally, there was a 5.6% increase in active mobile money transfer agents to stand at 218, 495 up from 206, 940 while actively registered mobile money transfer subscriptions stood at 29.7 million.

The report also shows that mobile penetration rose by 2.3 percentage points to hit 100.1 per cent from 97.8 per cent in the previous quarter. This increase has mainly been attributed to the fact that most users own more than one SIM card either from the same or different service providers.

This fact is also supported by the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) report released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in April 2018 which indicated that at least 30% of mobile users in Kenya own more than one SIM card, translating to an average of 1.3 SIM cards per subscriber.

The number of active mobile subscriptions increased to 46.6 million from 45.5 million in the last quarter, marking a 2.4% increase.

In terms of market share, Safaricom PLC shed 1.2 percentage points during the period to stand at 64.2 per cent whereas Airtel Networks Limited gained 0.9 percentage points to post a market share of 22.3 percent. On the other hand, Telkom Kenya Limited, Finserve Africa Limited and Mobile Pay Limited recorded market shares of 9.0 , 4.2 and 0.2 per cent respectively.

The period also saw Sema Mobile Services exit the market.

The total number of active Internet/data subscriptions stood at 42.2 million up from 41.1 million subscriptions reported in the previous quarter, representing a growth of 2.7%.

The number of mobile data/Internet subscriptions grew by 2.7% to reach 41.8 million from 40.7 million registered during the previous quarter,.

On the other hand, terrestrial wireless data subscriptions declined substantially by 51.3% to stand at 59,380 from 122, 037 in the preceding quarter. This drop is attributed to the regulatory guidance issued by the Authority to Mawingu Networks Ltd to review its data on the number of data/Internet subscriptions.

At the same time, the available International Internet bandwidth grew significantly by 41.1% to stand at 4,623.30 Gbps up from 3,277.72 Gbps recorded the last quarter. This is attributed to the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable Systems  (EASSY) increasing its capacity from 161.3 Gbps to 828.144 Gbps during the period.

In broadcasting, the number of free-to-air TV channels rose from 67 to 68 whereas the number of radio FM stations stood at 173 from 169, due a an a 10.5% increase in Community Free-to-Air (FTA) radio stations.

During the period, the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCC) detected over 3.8 million cyber threats compared to 3.4 million threats in the previous quarter. This is attributed to enhanced cyber threat detection capabilities tools such as deployment of more sensors.

The number of postal and private courier outlets remained unchanged at 623 and 1,027 respectively.

The dot ke (.KE) domains increased to 77,671 up from 75,096 posted in the previous quarter.


The data/Internet market in the country is expected to grow significantly following the rapid growth in mobile Internet related services and applications coupled with increased roll out of 4G mobile network. The development and growth of e-commerce industry is also expected to drive demand for data/Internet services in the country.



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