Safaricom Lose Active Subscribers in March, Airtel and Telkom Gain
Safaricom witnessed a decline in active subscribers in the first three months of this year according to the Communications Authority sector report for the first quarter.
The decline has been attributed to the ongoing deactivation of unregistered SIM cards, a directive from the authority.
Safaricom’s registered subscribers fell from 42.8 million in December last year to 42.4 million at the end of March, bringing the telco’s market share down marginally to 65.3 per cent from 65.8 per cent the previous year.
Airtel Kenya, on the other hand, registered an additional 303,198 subscribers while Telkom Kenya registered no change in the number of subscribers. Finserve and Jamii Telkom added 7,072 and 17,982 subscribers respectively in the period under review.
During the period, the total number of registered SIM cards in Kenya declined by 124,689 in the first quarter of this year, with the SIM penetration rate falling for the first time in years.
“As of March 31, 2022, the number of active mobiles (SIM) subscriptions stood at 64.9 million from 65.1 million subscriptions recorded by the end of December 31, 2021, representing a mobile penetration rate of 131.4 per cent. The decline in SIM subscriptions is partly attributed to the ongoing SIM registration exercise during which a number of SIM cards have been deactivated,” said CA in the sector report for the first quarter.
The Communications Authority of Kenya extended the SIM card registration by six months which ends October 15 this year.
“The requirement to update subscriber registration details is being done primarily to protect consumers of telecommunication services – who is you and me. Incidences of sim-boxing, financial fraud, kidnapping, terrorism, and related crimes prevail in situations of compromised sim card registration processes,” CA’s Director General, Ezra Chiloba.