Finance Kenya's second largest telecom operator hits record 1.2 million subscribers after Odinga's boycott

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Safaricom on the other hand recorded a decline in market share in the period under review

play Opposition leader Raila Odinga raises his fist moments after signing up with Airtel in November 6, 2017 (Courtesy)

Kenya's second largest telecommunications firm Airtel gained 1.2 million new subscribers in the second quarter of the current financial year, according to the latest statistics report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The telco recorded a 20 per cent increase in the number of new subscribers, marking the biggest three-month rise in subscribers recorded by any telco in recent years.

play Airtel gained 1.2 million new subscribers in the second quarter of the current financial year (Courtesy)

 

“The total number of mobile subscriptions recorded by Airtel rose to 7.3 million subscriptions from 6.1 million,” said a report from the regulator.

The subscriptions, in the quarter to December 2017, came at a time of heightened political activity following the disputed General Election which saw the Opposition ask its supporters to boycott telco giant Safaricom's services in favour of Airtel.

play Opposition leader Raila Odinga displays his Airtel card following his migration from Safaricom in line with the national resistance, November 6, 2017. (Courtesy)

NASA accused Safaricom of influencing the August 8 poll in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Market share

The boycott took a toll on the firm's market share which reduced marginally to 69.1 per cent from 71.9 per cent. The number of its subscribers however rose by 73,800 to sit at 29.5 million.

play The NASA boycott took a toll on the Safaricom's market share which reduced marginally to 69.1 per cent from 71.9 per cent. (Courtesy)

 

This suggests that the majority of Airtel’s 1.2 million new subscribers did not discard their Safaricom lines.

Airtel’s market share to 17.2 per cent from 14.9 per cent recorded during the previous quarter.

Likewise, the mobile service provider recorded an increase in mobile voice traffic with a total of 2.5 billion minutes during the quarter, up from 1.9 billion previously. This saw its market share expand by 4.6 per cent to 22 per cent.

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