The losses that Safaricom made in the quarter leading to September 2020 apparently helped its two rivals to slightly close in on the race for mobile data customers. This was revealed in a new report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) that states the market for internet grew to 43.5 million subscribers during that period.
According to the CA, Safaricom lost 1.2 percentage points in market share of mobile data subscriptions. Nevertheless, the telco was still the undisputed leader commanding 67.5% of subscribers.
Airtel Kenya drew slightly close with a market share of 26.8% with Telkom rising to 5.4%.
Both telcos saw the unfortunate failure of their plans to merge last year. The failed merger came after both firms cited unacceptable conditions placed on the propose amalgamation alongside delays regulatory disapproval.
Meanwhile, Equitel lost 0.1% percentage point in the market dropping to 0.3% share.
In its statistical data report, CA states, “Safaricom PLC lost 1.2 percentage points in market shares for mobile data subscriptions to record the highest share at 67.5 percent. On the other hand, Airtel Networks Limited and Telkom Kenya Limited gained by 0.8 and 0.4 percentage points to record 26.8 and 5.4 percent shares, respectively,”
Furthermore, the reports states that the internet/data market experienced positive growth. This is highly associated with the rising dependence on digital platforms for work, learning, healthcare and entertainment. Home and office internet connections also saw a jump with many Kenyans finally resorting to subscribe to various home fibre packages.
2021 is definitely full of uncertainties following the events of 2020 but it would be reasonable to expect similar trajectories as the pandemic still looms across the country.