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Why Kenya’s mobile leaders are optimistic about 2014

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MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, today launched the first report of a three-country African Growth Market Study on mobile content and commerce.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (Image source: UN Foundation)
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (Image source: UN Foundation)

Key findings showed the optimism of Kenyan industry leaders towards mobile content and commerce revenue growth after a third of respondents saw mobile end-user revenues rise more than they expected last year. Perhaps unsurprisingly in a market with highly developed mobile money and m-banking offerings, mobile money was found to be the main source of end-user revenue at 53% followed by social networks (37%) and mobile commerce (30%).

The results also revealed that mobile payments are considered by far the greatest opportunity for market growth at 87% followed by mobile advertising and rising smartphone adoption with business confidence in decline with traditional downloadable content such as ringtones and perhaps surprisingly games.

Whilst opportunities in the mobile industry abound, business leaders cited that the main challenges lie with the operators, particularly with regards to high charges and network issues. Providing a clear call to action to the industry respondents believed that more should be done to educate and reassure consumers and whilst rising smartphone adoption is one of the greatest opportunities, fragmentation issues are still considered a challenge.

Rimma Perelmuter, MEF CEO said: “This report provides an industry-wide snapshot on mobile activity and opportunities in Kenya today as part of our regional roadmap of activities, following the launch of our dedicated MEF Africa office in association with Vodacom in late 2012. Kenya is a market of great interest to our members and as the study clearly demonstrates a showcase for success, particularly in mobile money.”

The preliminary findings of the inaugural survey were shared with 1000 industry professionals at the Mobile Monday Jamboree in association with MEF on the fringes of AfricaCom, held at the exclusive Shimmy Beach Club.

The survey was conducted in association with KPMG and supported by Nation Media Group.

Staff writer

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