Report: Safaricom Controls 90 Percent of Mobile Industry Earnings in Kenya

Monday, October 19, 2015

Safaricom dominates the Kenyan mobile market, sweeping up more than 90 per cent of revenues in areas such as voice calls and text messaging, according to regulator data that could further fuel a debate about competition in the industry.

Rivals like Bharti Airtel and some officials have complained that Safaricom's dominance stifles competition. France's Orange is seeking to sell its Kenya operation, becoming the second international operator to quit the country after India's Essar Telecoms sold its Yu business last year.

The data obtained by Reuters comes as the East African nation is amending the telecom sector's competition law to give the regulator more powers to penalise companies deemed to be abusing dominant positions in the industry, though what would constitute such abuse is as yet unclear.

Safaricom, in which Britain's Vodafone has a 40-per cent stake, has dismissed accusations it hampers competition, saying it does not abuse its dominance.

Safaricom's revenues from calls amounted to a 91.63 per cent market share in 2014, while its closest competitor, Airtel, had 8.33 per cent, according to the data obtained from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK).

In text or short messaging services, Safaricom had more than a 90-per cent share of total market revenues from that segment, the regulator said.


Source: Toronto Star (link opens in a new window)

digital payments, telecommunications