Safaricom strangles other operators out of Internet market

Posted on February 4, 2011

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Bob Collymore chief executive officer Safaricom Ltd

Safaricom is the undisputed king of Internet market in Kenya, going by an industry report released last Wednesday.

The report covering the period July-September 2010, indicates that the company controls a convincing  92.2 per cent hold of the market.

The report was released by the Communications Commission of Kenya which regulates the industry.

Key findings on the report also shows that most Kenyans access the Internet through the mobile phone.

99 per cent of the total subscriptions during the period was through GPRS/EDGE and 3G-network.

The number of Internet users in the country by the end of the first quarter of the 2010/2011 financial year was 8.69 million people. However these number currently seems to have grown. (The CCK Report for the second quarter-Oct-Dec 2010, is expected around May 2011)

Across the world, revenue from voice is expected to hit a plateau for the mobile phone services operators hence a need for diversification.

Additionally in Africa and Kenya a majority of the population is said to have their initial interaction with Internet through mobile phones as opposed to PC’s.

Safaricom has been buying a number of existing WiMax operators among them One Communication, Packet Stream Data Networks, Instaconnect and IGO Wireless.

Although the war on voice has remained vicious, Airtel which seems to be the bad boy of the industry has only 4.61 per cent of the Internet market. Telkom Orange has only 2.40 per cent while listed player Access Kenya 0.23 per cent of the growing market.

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