Mobile Internet use takes hit from SIM card listing exercise [Business Daily (Kenya)]
(Business Daily (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mobile Internet subscriptions in the country has suffered a blow from the SIM card registration exercise, with the latest industry regulator's quarterly sector report indicating that Internet users recorded a drop of 6.1 per cent to reach 11.6 million.
According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) statistics for the first quarter of the 2013/14 financial year (July-September 2013), the number of local Internet subscribers dropped to 11.6 million in the quarter ending September 2013 up from 12.4 million in June 2013.
The 6.1 per cent decline is the first-ever negative growth recorded in the local Internet market.
The CCK report attributed the decline to SIM card registration exercise where a number of subscribers did not register their data or Internet SIM cards for modems.
READ: Kenya's mobile subscribers fall to 29.8m
"This decline could have been as a result of the SIM card Registration audit carried out by the Commission that saw rationalisation in mobile/data subscriptions," noted the CCK quarterly report.
"Moreover, the increase in mobile subscriptions during the period indicates that the new subscriptions did not subscribe to mobile data/Internet usage or did not have Internet enabled devices."
The decrease in the Internet subscription has resulted into decline into Internet penetration in the country.
At the end of the quarter under review, the population that had access to the Internet stood at 47.1 per cent down from 49.7 per cent registered during the previous quarter representing a decline of 2.6 percentage points during the period.
Safaricom was the most affected with its mobile Internet market share declining by 2.4 per cent to reach 73.2 per cent from 75.6 per cent recorded during the previous period.
Airtel Networks on the other hand gained 1.4 percentage points to attain a market share of 14.3 per cent while Telkom Kenya (Orange) gained 0.9 percentage shares to post 7.3 per cent during the period.
Essar too gained 0.2 percentage points to register 5.2 per cent from 5.0 per cent shares recorded during the previous period.
SIM card registration is meant to enable security agencies obtain the details of any subscribers engaged in criminal activities such as hate speech, conmanship, extortion or soliciting for ransoms in kidnapping cases.
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