Kenya - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts
A price war has characterised Kenya's mobile communications sector in recent years, following the market entry of the third and fourth network. This has led to accelerated subscriber growth, but it has also presented challenges to the profitability of the operators, forcing them to streamline their operations and develop new revenue streams in an environment of falling average revenue per user (ARPU) in the voice market. Third generation (3G) mobile broadband services as well as mobile payment and banking services are delivering these additional revenues, but all service segments are highly competitive. For fourth generation (4G/LTE) technology, the Kenyan government was following a unique open-access approach with plans to licence a multi-facetted consortium to operate the network, but this met with resistance from the existing operators. In early 2014, the major international shareholders in both the third and fourth network announced plans to exit the Kenyan market, prompting the government to issue three new MVNO licences.
India's Essar and France Telecom's Orange plan to exit the market; Price war is threatening profitability; New MVNO licences; Government's open-access approach to licensing 4G/LTE network revised.
Companies covered in this report:
Safaricom (Vodafone); Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain, Celtel); Essar Telecom Kenya (Yu, formerly Econet); Telkom Kenya (Orange, France Telecom); Huawei Technologies; ZTE; Alcatel-Lucent; Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).