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SIM switch-off impacts Kenya’s mobile movers

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A report posted by The Star says that Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile network operator, was the only one to have upped its call traffic volume after the process of deactivating unregistered SIM cards was initiated at the beginning of the year.

According to the publication between January and March, Safaricom gained voice traffic of 5.77 billion minutes, compared to 5.69 billion between October and December 2012.

The CCK (Communications Commission of Kenya) is reported to have released statistics this week which revealed that Safaricom also boosted voice traffic share to 79.5% from 77.5%.

“Calls on the Airtel fell to 838.3 million minutes from 918.6 million bringing its traffic share to 11.5 per cent. yuMobile traffic fell from 631.9 to 554.9 while Orange’s fell 100.4 million to 96.1 million. Safaricom also gained in SMS hit 3.87 billion messages up fro 3.46 billion. Orange recorded a gain from 17.5 million SMS to 18.4 million text messages. On the other hand Airtel saw a decline in text messages from 164.6 million to 160.2 million while yuMobile lost from 44.1 million to 32.8 million,” writes the article’s author Winfred Kagwe.

The SIM card switch off is said to have resulted in a drop in the total number of mobile subscribers drop by 2.9% from 30.7 million to 29.8 million.

The CCK Report also revealed a 3.2% decline in the number of pre-paid subscriptions, whilst post-paid subscriptions increased by 29%.

According to The Star, yuMobile gained new subscribers in the period from 3.22 million to 3.24 million, while Safaricom lost 400,000 users, Airtel lost 200,000 and Orange approximately 300,000.

Staff Writer

* Nairobi Skyline image via

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