Kenya sees 107% rise in mobile users

7 Mar 2008

John Waweru, Director General of the Communications Commission, claims government imposed price caps have been instrumental in encouraging Kenyan mobile subscriber numbers to reach 11.4 million by the end of 2007. This is an increase of 107% in just one year. In February 2007 the CCK ordered the country’s two cellular operators to cap mobile charges at KES30 (USD0.48) per minute. The regulator also cut mobile-to-fixed interconnect rates from KES4.00 to KES1.74, while mobile-to-mobile fees dropped from KES8.12 to KES6.28. Phase two of the price caps for interconnection rates will become effective 1 March 2008 and are hoped to aid further growth in the sector.

Telegeography GlobalComms database reports monopoly operator Safaricom controlled Kenya’s mobile market from 1993 until 2000 when the regulator awarded a second GSM licence to KenCell (now Celtel). There have been multiple issues which have prevented new entrants taking their place in the market to date although the licensing of Telkom Kenya and Econet Wireless Kenya should lead to greater competition soon.