Kenyans move Sh1.1 trillion through mobile money in first quarter


NAIROBI, KENYA: A total of Sh1.1 trillion was moved through mobile money transfer services in the first quarter of this year, a new survey by the communications Authority of Kenya says.

With total mobile money subscription hitting 27.5 million, the person to person money transfers amounted to Sh520b while total transaction of 290.5 million worth sh627.4b went to buying goods and services.

The industry regulator’s report says that currently Kenya has 174,018 mobile money transfer agents.

According to the report, the growth in online shopping could fuel the volume of parcels sent in the near future and the relative ease of shopping online will open up opportunities to buy and sell from people and companies in other countries.

“The telecoms sub sector continues to be a critical element of the economy, laying the groundwork for greater investment in mobile money and as well as for ICT infrastructure growth,” read part of the sector report.

During the quarter under review, telecoms sub sector witnessed mixed trends with the number of mobile subscriptions increasing while the volume of voice and SMS traffic declining when compared to the previous quarter.

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The number of mobile subscriptions stood at 39.1 million up from 38.9 million reported during the previous quarter translating to an increase of 0.5 per cent.

Mobile penetration dropped by 2.0 percentage points to stand at 86.2 per cent during the period from 88.2 per cent in the last quarter.

“This is attributed to the review of the country’s population to 45.4 million up from 44.2 million as per the Economic Survey 2017,” read the report.

Pre-paid mobile subscriptions rose to 37.9 million subscriptions up from 37.5 million registered in the previous quarter marking a growth of 1.1 per cent. Post-paid subscriptions declined from 1.4 million posted in the preceding quarter to 1.1 million subscriptions recorded during the quarter under review.

Total traffic originating from mobile network registered a decline of 3.7 per cent during the quarter under review to stand at 10.4 billion minutes from 10.8 billion minutes posted during the previous quarter. Subsequently, the Minutes of Use (MoU) per month per subscription registered a downward trend to stand at 89.0 minutes during the quarter from 92.7 minutes recorded during the previous quarter.

The volume of local Short Messaging Service (SMS) registered during the quarter stood at 12.8 billion messages down from last quarter’s 15.2 billion messages sent representing a drop of 18.8 per cent.

“The significant decline in local SMS is attributed to the end of the busy festive season during which service providers had launched numerous special offers and promotions,” read the report.

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The rapid expansion of infrastructure especially fibre optic saw an increase in Internet bandwidth that is available in the country to meet the rising demand.

The postal and courier sub sector demonstrated a downward trend during the quarter under review. The sector experienced a decline in the number of locally sent letters and courier items as well as International outgoing and incoming letters. This was attributed to the end of the high season during the period under review.

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