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Safaricom fixed internet rises to 30pc, Zuku loses

 fibre optic cable
Workers lay fibre optic cable at Mtito Andei Town for Safaricom. PHOTO | PIUS MAUNDU 

Safaricom has increased its market share of fixed internet services for the sixth consecutive quarter to 29.6 percent, cutting the dominance of Zuku internet's parent company Wananchi Group.

Latest data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) covering up to December last year shows Safaricom’s market share jumped to 29.6 percent from 27.6 percent in the previous quarter while that of Wananchi dropped to 38 percent.

“Wananchi Companies registered the highest market share of 38 percent followed by Safaricom PLC and Jamii Telecommunications Limited at 29.6 percent and 13.8 percent respectively,” says CA in the report covering October-December 2018 period.

Wanachi’s market share was at 41 percent in the first quarter of 2017/2018 while that of Safaricom was at 15.2 percent.

Wananchi has 141,021 subscribers while Safaricom follows with 109,925. In the first quarter of 2017/2018 financial year, Wananchi had 107,640 followed by Safaricom with 40,640.

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This means that between July 2017 and December 2018, Wananchi added 33,381 customers while Safaricom got new 69,285 subscribers.

The market share of Jamii Telecom is at 13.8 percent, being ranked third, but lower than the 18.2 percent market share it held in the third quarter of 2017/2018.

In October last year, Bloomberg reported that Zuku’s parent firm was looking to exit the Kenyan market and had contracted US consultant Lizard Limited to work on the modalities of a potential sale plan.

Safaricom has been raising connections through its fibre to the homes (FTTH) and fibre to the business (FTTB) approach.

Up to September last year the telco said it had 5,500 kilometres of fibre laid down. It said more than 200,000 homes had been passed with FTTH while 2,000 buildings had been passed with FTTB.

“We believe that investing in our infrastructure will not only reinforce our competitive position, it also represents a compelling opportunity to accelerate our revenue growth” Safaricom said in its 2018 report.

Safaricom already leads in mobile data subscriptions where it commands 69.5 percent of the market followed by Airtel Network Limited with 22.4 percent market share.

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