Portio Mobile Factbook 2013
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Kenya is doing unusually well as a 3G market, with an estimated 2.05mn users at the end of 2009. This should pull up even further as the other operators enter the market. There is some difficulty and controversy about this. Zain, Orange and YU are campaigning for the 3G licence fee to be lowered below the US$25mn that Safaricom originally paid. Safaricom of course argues that, if they do not pay as much, then it should get some money back. It could be said that the leading operator was laying a premium for first mover advantage, something it has certainly enjoyed. Zain said it is already rolling out its 3G infrastructure, confident that it will have its licence soon, though BMI is not convinced that it will not be hit with the full US$26mn bill.
Zain has in general not been doing well. It continues to lose market share and has very recently announced a new strategy, to focus more on the mass market, where it has previously concentrated more on high-end users.
Speaking of high-end user, the broadband suppliers of Kenya are continuing to expand their services. With the entrance of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company into the wholesale side of the broadband and data business, offering backhaul capacity along some key routes to other operators, the overall highspeed data capacity within Kenya is moving in the right direction. Still, services remain expensive, although all the new developments, better national connections and the advent of international highcapacity fibre cables are contributing small pieces to the puzzle that will eventually see internet access become a much more common experience in Kenya.