Internet penetration in Kenya grew by 4.4 percent between October and December 2016 to reach 89.7 per cent up from 85.3 per cent during the previous quarter, a move that has been attributed to affordable smartphones and data bundles, the latest telecoms industry report shows.
The latest quarterly report released on Monday by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), showed that mobile data subscriptions continued to account for the highest stake posting 26.7 million subscriptions during the quarter under review, which represented 99 per cent of the subscriptions.
The report further indicated that the number of estimated Internet users stood at 39.6 million compared to 37.7 million users recorded during the preceding quarter, a 4.3 per cent upward growth.
“This could be attributed to the affordability of smartphones in the country as well as affordable data/internet bundles offered by various Internet service operators,” read part of the report.
The report also noted that the uptake of smartphones by consumers that offer access to various mobile phone applications which include: social media, search engines, email and video chat, which are very popular applications, has seen increase in the use of internet/data services.
“As technologies develop and become popular, new uses and consumer behaviours emerge. It is expected that the introduction of new generation of network and device technologies will lead to further changes in usage.”
Mobile data subscriptions also rose by 3.9 per cent and accounts for majority of the subscriptions standing at 26.5 million subscriptions.
“Internet users in the country access data either through terrestrial wireless, fixed cable modem or fixed fibre optic, all segments that registered growth during the quarter under review. Only the Satellite segment did not record growth,” read the report.
The report further showed that the terrestrial wireless data subscriptions grew by 87.7 per cent to post 29,724 subscriptions. Fixed fibre optic and fixed cable modem subscriptions grew by 18.0 and 2.8 per cent respectively.
The number of broadband subscriptions continued its upward trend, recording 12.7 million subscriptions up from 11.9 million subscriptions registered during the preceding quarter.
Subsequently, broadband penetration level stood at 28.7 per cent during the quarter under review.