An advertisment for Bharti Airtel Ltd. sits outside a sim card vendor’s stall in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Safaricom Market Share Drops as Airtel, Telkom Portions Rise

(Bloomberg) -- Safaricom Plc’s market share dropped 1.6 percentage points to 65.4 percent in the three months through June as Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s Kenyan unit and Telkom Kenya Ltd. increased mobile-phone customers at a faster pace.

Airtel’s market share climbed 1.7 percentage points to 21.4 percent and Telkom Kenya grew its market share 0.2 percentage points to 8.8 percent, the Communications Authority of Kenya said in a report on its website.

Quarter-on-quarter, Safaricom customers increased 0.7 percent, or 209,863, Airtel subscribers grew 11.9 percent, or 1.03 million, and Telkom’s customer base climbed 5 percent, or 190,369, according to data from the industry regulator.

Mobile phone penetration in Kenya rose to almost 98 percent in the three months from 95.1 percent in the preceding quarter as users in East Africa’s largest economy rose to 45.5 million from 44.1 million, according to the industry regulator.

There were 29.6 million mobile-money accounts at the end of June and transactions worth 1.4 trillion shillings ($13.6 billion) were made between April and June.

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