Kenyan ICT sector growth well below predictions in 2015

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By Titus Mbithi
The ICT sector grew by 7.3 percent in 2015 compared with 14.6 per cent in 2014, according to the Kenya National Bureau and Statistics (KNBS) Economic survey.
A local business publication said the exit of Yu from the market, and Orange Kenya’s fixed wireless network switch-off, caused the slowdown. The Ministry of ICT had predicted sector expansion beyond 15 percent by the end of 2015 and approaching 20 percent by end of 2017.
Orange Kenya switched off its fixed wireless network because of the obsolete technology, expensive maintenance and increased competition. During the year, the mobile telephone capacity declined by 3.5 percent to 62.8 percent, owing to the exit of Yu. Airtel and Safaricom took over Yu’s subscribers and infrastructure, as reported.
Even so, growth remained robust because of the resilient expansion in mobile telephony networks and increased uptake in data services, the KNBS report indicates.
During the period, value add witnessed a 11.4 percent drop to KES 58.7 million in 2015 compared with KES 66.3 per cent in the previous year.
The value of ICT output increased by 8.1 percent to KES 280 million in 2015 compared with KES 259 million the previous year. Intermediate consumption increased by 14.9 percent. The mobile telephone penetration in the country increased to 85.4 percent in 2015 from 78.3 percent in the previous year.
Internet subscriptions increased to 23.8 million from 16.4 million, or 45.4 percent penetration, with terrestrial mobile data subscribers having the largest share. Total wired internet subscriptions increased by 20.2 percent to 115,111, with fixed fibre data accounting for 96.7 percent of the total wired internet subscriptions in 2015. Fixed fibre grew by 37.1 percent to 111,354 subscriptions in 2015.

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