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Mobile penetration crosses 100pc mark

This translates to an average of 1.3 cards per subscriber. CA expects this penetration to continue growing as network expansion continues.

Kenya’s mobile penetration has hit 100 per cent for the first time as active customer subscription hits 46.6 million, FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya’s mobile penetration has hit 100 per cent for the first time as active customer subscription hits 46.6 million, joining the league of African countries such as Morocco, Namibia and Tunisia that have achieved the threshold. First quarter data released by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) covering the three months to September shows that mobile penetration rose by 2.3 percentage points to hit 100.1 per cent from 97.8 per cent in the preceding quarter.“…mobile penetration surpassed the 100 per cent mark mainly attributed to the fact that most users own more than one SIM card either from the same or different service providers,” said the CA in a report released on Tuesday. CA’s number on penetration is also backed by the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey report released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in April 2018 which indicated that at least 30 per cent of mobile users in Kenya own more than one SIM card.This translates to an average of 1.3 cards per subscriber. The penetration, coupled with advances in mobile payments, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and mobile applications markets offers room for businesses such as those in e-commerce to thrive. The value of mobile commerce grew by 8.8 per cent to Sh1.552 trillion during the three months as the value of mobile money transfers rose 5.6 per cent to Sh2.027 trillion.

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The number of active mobile subscribers rose 2.4 per cent from 45.5 million in the previous quarter to 46.6 million, being the same as the estimated population in the country.CA expects this penetration to continue growing as network expansion continues. “The mobile service industry is growing faster than a beanstalk,” says the CA. According to the International Telecommunications Union ICT Facts and Figures Report (2005-2017), some developed countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Israel surpassed this mark as early as 2003.

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