Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Cyprian Is Nyakundi

Business

How the pandemic turned Kenya into a ‘texting’ nation

Mobile subscribers in Kenya have resorted to sending  short text messages (SMSs), increasing the preference by 1.62 billion in the quarter to March this year compared to a similar period last year.

SMSs sent in the third quarter to March has gone up by 9.5% to 16.82 billion from 15.36 billion according to new data by the  Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).

This marked a third-quarter growth in the SMS section  for a fifth straight year despite slumps being registered in voice traffic and data subscriptions.

“The number of short messages sent per subscription per month increased to 101.5 during the third quarter, from 95.4 messages sent last quarter,” CA said.

The number of SMSs sent in the third quarter of this year marks a 157% increase compared to a similar period in 2016 that witnessed 50%and 57% jump for voice and data respectively.

Kenyans seeking to cut costs during this turbulent economic times find SMSs more appealing. Businesses and State ministries and agencies(MDAs) have also resorted to SMS to communicate.

SMSs are more affordable compared to calls and applications like WhatsApp and are very convenient in reaching out to people in remote regions.

The CA data shows that SMS is the only service that has posted growth on quarter from March 2016, as telcos saw their talk-time and mobile data subscriptions decline.

Communication Authority headquarters in Nairobi. [p/courtesy]

Global tech giants like Google, Uber, Facebook, Apple and Airbnb have also resorted to SMSs to market their products. SMS traffic had been projected to hit 2.5 trillion across the globe by mid-2020.

As SMS segment posted growth, telcos have also recorded 15.31 billion minutes of talk-time in the three months to March– presenting a 7% decline from 16.40 billion minutes in the similar period last year.

The report breaks the trend in which telcos report increased preference to talk time and use of data on applications as WhatsApp.

The regulator’s data also show that mobile subscriptions also dipped by 16% to 38.85 million in the three months to March from 46.46 million posted in a similar period last year as many subscribers preferred cheaper SMS service.

Despite the report, Kenyans are calling more within the Airtel network than Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, a trend which CA attributes to cheaper call rates.

The increased talk-time within Airtel network has seen them bite Safaricom’s share of the voice market as the two bank on promotional call tariffs to win customers. Airtel’s share of voice market has jumped to 30.9% in the three months to March from 29.2% percent in a similar period to last December.

Safaricom share has declined to 65.7% from 67.1% in the similar period.

“Safaricom PLC recorded the lowest duration of calls for both on-net and off-net calls due to the high calling rates charged by the operator both within and across networks,” said CA.

But Safaricom has recorded the highest number of mobile in-ports at 208 while Airtel Networks Limited and Telkom Kenya Limited have recorded 41 and 16 in-ports respectively.

Local outgoing mobile voice traffic jumped by 2.3% during the third quarter, posting 15.3 billion minutes from 14.9 billion minutes posted in the last quarter.

 


Would you like to get published on this Popular Blog? You can now email Cyprian Nyakundi any breaking news, Exposes, story ideas, human interest articles or interesting videos on: [email protected] Videos and pictures can be sent to +254 710 280 973 on WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.


Comments

comments

Click to comment

Facebook

You May Also Like

News

*Editor’s Note: This open letter to Safaricom has been published as received. No redactions have taken place to avoid legal issues pending a court...

News

This is an intervention for Victoria Rubadiri so as to help her revert back to factory settings. We notice your slow drift away into...

News

Caption : Edwin Kigen Who was Murdered in Madaraka Estate. We demand for answers from Boinnet ! Another young man may have been brutally assaulted and...

News

CAPTION: Reformed street-urchins like this lot are dominating the airwaves and being allowed to spread the disease of anti-intellectualism.  As you may have all...

Copyright © 2020 Cyprian Is Nyakundi.