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Safaricom Sheds 10 Per Cent Market Share In One Year, As Competitors Gain

Safaricom is seemingly losing grip of the Kenyan telecommunication market, after dropping its market share from 72.6 per cent to 65.4 percent (a 9.9 per cent drop) in one year. On the other hand, their major rivals, Airtel, gained tremendously, growing from 15.3 per cent of its market share to 21.6 percent, from June 2017 to June 2018.

During the second quarter of 2018, Safaricom PLC lost its market share by 1.6 percentage points, Airtel Ltd and Telkom Kenya gained by 1.7 and 0.2 percentage points respectively. Finserve Africa lost by 0.1 percentage points whereas the market shares for Sema Mobile and Mobile Pay Ltd remained unchanged. This is the third consecutive quarter Safaricom is dropping in market share.

This is according to the latest Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) report.

Despite the drop, users’ base was up 0.7 percent from the previous quarter.

As at June 30 2018, the number of mobile service subscriptions in the country stood at 45.5 million up from 44.1 million reported in March 2018. This also marked an increase of 13.2 percent when compared to the 40.2 million subscriptions recorded as at June 30 2017.

Read: Blogger Peter Amunga Tracked through Safaricom Line, Abducted and Fingers Crushed By Assailants

“This has resulted to increased mobile penetration of 97.8 per cent during the subject quarter from 95.1 per cent reported in the preceding quarter,” states CA in the Report.

Currently, Safaricom has a customer base of 29.7 million subscribers while Airtel has 9.7 million subscribers. Telkom Kenya has close to four million subscribers.

The ratio of pre-paid subscriptions remained dominant at 97.4 percent and this is attributed to the ease and convenience of subscription as compared to post-paid subscription which has mandatory requirements which may pose a great challenge for most users. Pre-paid service also offers a variety of tariffs and low denomination calling cards as low as Ksh. 5 which convenient and affordable for low income subscribers.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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