Essar acquisition boosts Airtel subscriber base to 7.6m

2 Apr 2015

The Communications Authority of Kenya has published its statistical report for the three months ended 31 December 2014, in which it reveals that the total number of mobile subscriptions rose to 33.63 million from 32.77 million the previous quarter and 31.31 million at end-2013. Safaricom accounted for the lion’s share of total wireless customers (67.4%, 22.66 million), followed by Airtel Kenya, which acquired the subscriber base of Essar Telecom (yu) during the quarter, with a market share of 22.6%. The acquisition boosted the Indian-owned cellco’s total customers from 5.40 million at the end of September 2014 to 7.61 million three months later. The market’s smallest network operator, Telkom Kenya (Orange), reported 3.63 million wireless users at end-2014 (a share of 10.0%), up from 3.02 million the previous quarter. Mobile data subscriptions rose from 13.09 million to 16.34 million over the twelve-month period, with Safaricom accounting for 11.8 million, followed by Airtel with 2.4 million and Orange with 2.2 million.

Kenya ended 2014 with a total of 179,990 fixed telephony lines in service (down from 207,549 a year earlier), including 47,973 fixed terrestrial connections and 132,017 fixed-wireless lines. As at 31 December 2014 the Communications Authority of Kenya reported 81,243 fibre-optic broadband subscribers (up from 67,470 twelve months previously), 17,537 terrestrial wireless data customers (16,429), 14,512 xDSL connections (12,014), 712 satellite broadband users (682) and 25 cable modem broadband connections (unchanged year-on-year). Wananchi Telecom remains the fixed broadband market leader, accounting for 48.8% of all customers at end-2014, followed by Liquid Telecom (15.7%), Telkom Kenya (10.5%) and Access Kenya (10.0%).