The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has released its Sector Statistics Report for the First Quarter of the 2020/21 Financial Year. This current report covers the performance and trends in  ICT sector in Kenya for the period 1st July to 30th September 2020.

Key indicators from the report show that there has been a significant increase in the number of mobile phone subscriptions. Overall, the number of registered mobile money agents, active registered mobile money subscriptions and general volume of money transfers, and mobile voice traffic has also hiked.

Internet Total Subscriptions has increased by 4.8% to reach 43.45 million subscribers in the last quarter. These numbers are a testament that more people have embraced technology as a tool of communication, especially with the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Total broadband subscriptions have significantly increased by 8.6% translating to more than 2.5 million new subscriptions. Total available international bandwidth (Gbps) also hiked, complemented by a rise in total used international bandwidth (Gbps) by 14.2%.

Below is the detailed list of the listed categories included in the report:

1. Mobile telephone services

There has been a steady high demand for ICT services, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote meetings and interactions has increased the usage of ICT media.

Key indicators show a 4% increase in mobile subscriptions over the last quarter. This in turn, has seen the increase in the number of registered mobile money agents and an increase in the number of active registered mobile money subscriptions.

Telco company Safaricom, has substantially attributed to these numbers, notably by its recent financing service campaign dubbed Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, which was aimed at acquisition of new smartphone owners.

However, Safaricom market share in mobile subscriptions dropped by 0.5% to stand at 63.7% during the quarter under review. Similarly, Equitel lost by 0.2% to record a market share of 2.8%. On the other hand, Airtel and Telkom Kenya gained by posting 27.2 and 6.3% market shares, respectively.

Local Voice Traffic indicators showed that during the review period, the total local mobile voice traffic grew by 19.6%. The significant growth has been attributed to Safaricom’s promotion dubbed Top Up Voice Promotion, that enabled prepaid subscribers to make discounted calls based on their minutes of use per day.

On-net traffic increased by 19.6 percent to stand at 16.0 billion minutes. Equally, off-net and mobile to fixed traffic grew to record 2.2 billion and 17.6 million minutes, respectively.

2. Fixed telephone services

Fixed Network Subscriptions maintained a downward trend due to reduced expansion of fixed networks by operators, and increased preference for mobile services by consumers.

Total local fixed voice network traffic grew by 2.7 percent during the period under review, to record 4.9 million minutes.

International Outgoing Fixed Network Voice Traffic declined by 37.2 percent to post 5.6 million minutes, as consumers increased their preference for fixed VoIP which is less costly as is mostly offered as a value added service under data/internet services.

3. Data/internet and broadband services

The Internet/data market experienced positive growth with rising dependence on digital platforms for work, learning, healthcare, online shopping and entertainment. The total data/Internet subscriptions rose by 4.8 percent to 43.5 million, with mobile data subscriptions accounting for 98.5% of the total subscriptions.

Safaricom notably lost 1.2% in market shares for mobile data subscriptions, during the period July to September 2020 to record the highest share at 67.5%. Similarly, Equitel lost 0.1% point to post the least market share of 0.3%. Airtel Networks Limited and Telkom Kenya Limited gained by 0.8 and 0.4 % to record 26.8 and 5.4% shares, respectively.

Fibre-to-the-office/home data/Internet subscriptions recorded the highest number of broadband subscriptions, whereas fixed wireless recorded the highest number of narrowband subscriptions during the reference period.

During the period ending 30th September 2020, the number of registered domains dropped to 95,101 from 95,974 domains reported as at 30th June 2020.

4. National cyber security landscape

About 35.2 million cyber threat events were detected from the report. This was a 152.9% increase from the 13.9 million threat events detected in the previous quarter.

This increase in cyber threat attacks was attributed to the move to working remotely and increased uptake of e-commerce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This, in turn, increased vulnerability of organizations and businesses to cyber criminals who targeted remote working systems and tools, and e-commerce sites for fraudulent gains.

During this period, there was also an increase in child online abuse and online fraud cases reported to the National KE-CIRT/CC.