Pandemic Drives Data Usage in Kenya Up by 5.2pc

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11- Data usage in the Kenyan market has continued to grow with a 5.1 percent rise witnessed between April to June 2020, a new report shows.

Data by the Communication Authority of Kenya for the fourth quarter for the 2019/2020 financial year reveals that total internet subscriptions hit 41 million compared to 39 million that was recorded in the previous quarter.

The authority has attributed the growth to increased demand for access to information online.

“The number of data/Internet subscriptions continued to grow due to increased demand for access to information online, coupled with the transfer of more services to the digital space,” said CA.

Consequently, many consumers continue to adopt video-conferencing services as they work from home, access online entertainment and streaming Video-on-Demand services.

Additionally, learners continue to access Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development e-content and lessons at home, as learning institutions remain closed across the country, as a measure to contain the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

During the study, Safaricom registered the highest market share in mobile data subscriptions at 68.7 percent, whereas Equitel posted the least market share of 0.4 percent.

As at the end of the quarter under review, Fibre-to-the-home/office data/Internet subscriptions registered the highest number of broadband as the fiber-optic technology that allows subscribers to access higher speed of Internet services, continued to be rolled out in the country.

CA’s intelligence team also reported that the number of messages sent grew by 5.4 percent to stand at 69.6 billion.

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According to the authority, the growth is as a result of attractive SMS bundles offered by the operators during the period under review.

It was also noted that SMS communication is popular among the young population who have been actively at home following the prolonged closure of educational institutions in response to COVID-19 safety measures.

Safaricom recorded 19.0 billion messages sent from its network in the Q4 up from 15.9 billion messages reported in the third quarter.

The increase is attributed to “The Safaricom SMS promotion” promotion that was run by the operator from 28th March to 26th May 2020 where subscribers who purchase any of the daily, weekly or monthly.

Consequently, the operator’s SMS traffic grew remarkably to 66.1 billion during the 2019/20 Financial Year from 62.5 billion messages reported in the previous fiscal year.

The number of short messages sent per Subscription per Month grew to record 117.4 up from 101.5 registered in the previous quarter

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