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Safaricom Loses More Subscribers as Airtel Maintains Upward Trajectory

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Airtel gained more subscribers in the three months ended March 2020 by 0.7% to claim 26.6% of the telco market share while Safaricom subscriptions declined marginally by 0.3% to stand at 64.8 percent, data posted by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows.

The third quarter statistics report for the financial year 2019/2020 also shows that Telkom Kenya lost 0.4 percentage points to post a market share of 5.8 percent while Equitel’s market share remained unchanged at 3.1%.

CA’s statistics show that the total number of subscribers for all networks at the end of March both pre-paid and post-paid in the country stood at 55,206,628 compared to the 54,555,497 posted at the end of December 2019.

Safaricom closed March 2020 with 35,607,302 subscribers compared to 35,335,107 at the end of 2019 against Airtel’s 14,682,293 at the end of March compared to 14,118,569 at the end of December 2019.

In the same vein, Telkom’s numbers shrunk to 3,190,661 from 3,391,946 in December 2019 while Equitel posted 1,726,372 subscribers at the end of March compared to the 1,709,875 customers posted in December 2019.

Voice Traffic

There was more bad news on the voice traffic end as Safaricom posted the lowest duration of calls for both on-net and off-net calls due to the high calling rates charged by the operator both within and across networks.

International Mobile Traffic

Traffic originating from other countries decreased by 4.7 percent during the period under review to stand at 137.8 million minutes, whereas voice traffic terminating in other countries increased by 6.0 percent to post 118.0 million minutes.

International traffic within EAC member countries has continued to decline over time, owing to implementation of the regional One Network Area (ONA) initiative, since 2014 that resulted in lowering of roaming voice charges within ONA member countries.

Consumers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan prefer to roam while visiting either of the countries rather than buying new SIM Cards to make international calls because of the fair calling rates within the One Network Area region.

The volume of SMS originating from foreign networks declined by 11.8 percent whereas, messages terminating to foreign networks increased by 1.8 percent.


The total number of short messages sent during the period under review stood at 16.8 billion up
from 15.6 billion messages sent during the preceding quarter.

The number of short messages sent per subscription per month increased to 101.5 during the third quarter from 95.4 messages sent last quarter.

Similarly, minutes of use per subscription per month increased to 92.5 from 91.5 minutes registered in the foregoing previous quarter.

See Also>>>> Safaricom Picks Insider as Interim CFO

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Big up Airtel!!. Genuinely, Safaricom has been unreasonably costly in the last couple of month; their data bundles gets deleted in no time and leaves the customer desperate. When you approach Safaricom to clarify this strange issue, they reply with a cliche message, “kindly check on your apps and monitor their data usage.” But really? Is the our apps? Currently am using Airtel and I experience no such robbery. Big up Airtel. Thumbs up.