Mobile Internet Usage Surges In Kenya.
It was reported in the Business Daily Newspaper last week that Mobile Internet usage in Kenya is now surging forward compared to wireless or other more traditionally delivered forms of Internet access. According to the statistics from the Communications Commission of Kenya, mobile Internet subscribers stood at 1,674,948 in March 2009 and they grew rapidly to 1,801,876 inJune 2009. This means that more than 200,000 new mobile Internet subscribers signed up in a period of only 3 months (Internet Service Providers, are you reading the writing on the wall?).
At the same time, in the period between March 2009 and June 2009, total wireless subscribers including mobile Internet subscribers grew from 1,704,948 to 1,814,183 subscribers. This would imply that wireless Internet users in Kenya generally prefer mobility to being in a fixed location. Lastly, The total number of Internet subscribers in Kenya on all modes of connectivity grew from 3,409,896 in March 2009 to 3,648,406 in June 2009. In a nutshell, Individual users as a market want mobile, fast, reliable, cost-effective and ubiquitous mobile Internet in Kenya! (Internet Service Providers, I ask again, are you reading the writing on the wall?).
These statistics go to show that the largest growth area for Internet usage in Kenya is the mobile Internet. This space is largely dominated by the major mobile networks including Safaricom, Orange, Zain, and YU. If these trends are indeed a precursor to the imminent future of Kenya’s Internet space, it would seem that Internet Service Providers, Cyber Cafes and other conventional Internet connectivity businesses are going to take a very big hit in the coming year(s). Its time for them to disruptively rejig their business models because things are certainly not looking bright for them!