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Kenya reaches new online milestone thanks to the spikes in Internet Penetration

by Milicent Atieno

The Kenya Communication Authority (CA) says the country’s internet penetration has hit over the 100% mark to stand currently at 112.7%. This is as per the Q1 (July – September 2017) Sector Statistics report for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The CA cites the increasing uptake of smartphones and broadband connectivity as the main reasons for this growth.

The growth has now put broadband subscriptions at 17.6 million compared to 15.4 million posted in preceding quarter. Consequently, broadband penetration increased to 38.8 percent during the quarter from 34.2 percent,” the CA explained in a report.

The demand for data/internet continues to soar, with the number of estimated data/internet users jumping by 12.5 percent to post 51.1 million users compared to 45.4 million users reported in the previous quarter. Mobile data remains the key contributor to data/internet subscription at 99%.”

Some of this growth has also been attributed to fiber optic technology, which has registered a 65.5% growth. Current numbers of users thanks to fiber technology stands at 90,534 up from 54,700 in the previous period.

Mobile carriers like Safaricom have recorded tremendous growth in subscribers of Fibre to the Home (FTTH) service. As at the company’s half-year, the 2017 results announced back in November showed Safaricom had installed about 4,700 km of fiber cables service at least 90,000 homes. The carrier registered 28,000 FTTH users in just one year.

The CA report also unveiled that Kenya’s mobile penetration now stands at 90.4% and is well on its way to match the penetration landmark set by internet access. Though mobile subscription has slowed down compared to the last quarter.

There were 768,831 net additions in mobile subscriptions in this period compared to 1.1 million additions registered in the previous quarter,” the CA report says.

The increasing mobile subscription has been the backbone of the growing mobile commerce activities in Kenya where more than Ksh 714.3 billion were transacted through C2B, B2C, and B2B. Person-to-Person (P2P) transactions amounted to Ksh 544.1 billion while sending and withdrawals via mobile money accounted for 537.2 million.

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