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Kenya - Mobile Market - Insights, Statistics and Forecasts


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Kenya - Mobile Market - Insights, Statistics and Forecasts

Strong growth in the number of mobile subscribers has translated into sustained revenue in the sector. Network operators have consistently invested about a quarter of revenue into network upgrades in recent years. Market consolidation is expected in 2015 following the regulator's approval for Airtel and Safaricom to acquire Essar Telecom's yuMobile business. Competition has also presented challenges to the profitability of network operators, forcing them to streamline 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 the very successful mobile payment and mobile banking platforms are delivering these additional revenues, but all service segments are highly competitive. In mid-2014 the regulator compelled Safaricom to open up its popular M-Pesa platform to rival networks. For fourth generation (4G/LTE) technology, the government has followed a unique open-access approach with plans to licence a multi-facetted consortium to operate the network, but this has met with resistance from network operators, with Safaricom pulling out in late 2013. Additional MVNO licences awarded in early 2014 have added to the competitive mix.

Key developments:

Safaricom begins to deploy LTE networks in key cities, signs deal with MoneyGram to enable international remittances into M-Pesa accounts; Viettel withdraws bid to acquire Telecom Kenya from Orange group; One Network Area pilot reducing call charges between countries of the East African Community; Safaricom's M-Pesa network to migrate to a locally hosted infrastructure during 2015; handset device market showing stronger growth for 3G and LTE-enabled devices than 2G; regulator and competition authority approve joint bid from Safaricom and Bharti Airtel to acquire Essar Telecom's assets; new MVNO licences awarded; government's open-access approach to licensing 4G/LTE network revised; report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2014, telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2014, and recent market developments.

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).


1. Synopsis
2. Overview of Kenya's mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Interconnection
3.2 International gateways
3.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
3.4 Quality of Service (QoS) control
3.4.1 QoS survey 2009
3.4.2 QoS survey 2010
3.5 SIM card registration
3.6 Taxes
3.7 Tariff regulation
3.8 One Network Area call tariff
3.9 MVNO licences
4. Major mobile operators
4.1 Mobile market shares
4.2 Safaricom
4.2.1 Privatisation and IPO
4.2.2 Financial results
4.2.3 Network development and operations
4.3 Bharti Airtel Kenya (formerly Zain, Celtel, KenCell)
4.3.1 Equity transactions 2004-2010
4.3.2 Financial results
4.3.3 Network development and operations
4.4 Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile, formerly Econet)
4.4.1 Six years of licence disputes
4.4.2 Network development and operations
4.4.3 Shutdown
4.4.4 Company sale
4.5 Orange Kenya (Telkom Kenya)
5. Mobile voice services
5.1 Prepaid cards
5.2 Special regional tariffs
5.3 International roaming
5.3.1 Free international roaming
5.4 VoIP
5.5 Flashback
5.6 GSM community phones
5.7 Price war
5.8 Low-cost handsets
5.9 Counterfeit handsets
5.10 Satellite mobile
6. Mobile data services
6.1 SMS
6.2 MMS
6.3 GPRS and EDGE
7. 3G
8. Long-term Evolution (LTE, 4G)
9. Mobile money transfer, m-banking
9.1 M-Pesa (Safaricom)
9.2 ZAP, Airtel Money
9.3 yuCash (Essar)
9.4 Orange Money
9.5 Other services
10. Mobile TV
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2018
11.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile services revenue and investments 2008- 2014
Table 2 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya 1999 - 2004
Table 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya 2005 - 2014
Table 4 Market share of subscribers by operator 2010 - 2014
Table 5 Safaricom ARPU 2007 - 2013
Table 6 Safaricom subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 7 Safaricom revenue 2011 - 2014
Table 8 Safaricom revenue by sector 2011 - 2014
Table 9 Airtel Kenya subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 10 Zain Kenya ARPU 2006 - 2009
Table 11 Essar Telecom subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 12 Orange Kenya revenue 2010 - 2014
Table 13 Orange Kenya mobile subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 14 Safaricom services revenue composition 2010 - 2013
Table 15 SMS traffic 2012 - 2014
Table 16 MMS traffic 2012 - 2014
Table 17 Mobile money transfer statistics 2011 - 2014
Table 18 Safaricom - M-Pesa revenue 2011 - 2014
Table 19 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2018
Chart 1 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Kenya 2005 - 2014
Chart 2 Market share of subscribers by operator 2010 2014
Exhibit 1 Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria
Exhibit 2 Texting elephants
Exhibit 3 Job offers by SMS

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