In the first quarter of this year, (Nairobi’s) iHub Research prepared an infographic giving a general overview of the mobile sphere in East Africa for year 2011.
The infographic explores the different levels of uptake of mobile phones and related technology in the region:
At the close of 2011, Kenya was the leading region in terms of mobile usage with a 67.2% mobile penetration rate. This was followed by Tanzania with 56% mobile penetration and finally Uganda with 38.4%. These rates translated to 26 million mobile subscribers in Kenya, compared to Tanzania’s 23 million subscribers and Uganda’s 12 million mobile users. As expected, with increased mobility of the population the region continued to register very few subscribers still using fixed lines. Particularly, it was reported that there were 374, 942 fixed lines in Kenya, 327, 114 in Uganda and 174,678 fixed line subscribers in Tanzania in 2011.
Internet Penetration to Rise
Internet penetration is on the rise in the region with new highs being recorded at the end of 2011. This could be due to increased regional bandwidth brought about by the laying of the fiber cable framework as well as aggressive campaigns by the mobile network operators. In terms of Internet usage and penetration Kenya led in the region with 14.3 M users (36.3% penetration) compared to a meagre 4.9M users (2.5% penetration) in Tanzania and 4M users (12%) in Uganda.
When it comes to actual phone usage, Kenyan users registered the highest number of mobile money transactions and total minutes of general calling in 2011, while Tanzania led the region in terms of average number of text messages sent per month per subscriber. Other aspects worth noting is that average call tariffs for Kenya and Tanzania are the same at Kshs 3 ,while Uganda has an average tariff of Kshs 6.