Kenyans are now top of the list of internet users in Africa, a new study has revealed.
According to the study by Jumia Business Intelligence and GSMA mobile titled ‘White Paper 2017: Trends from the Kenyan Smartphone and E-Commerce Industry’, over 30 million (65 per cent) people in Kenya have access to the internet.
Democratization of Smartphones
Jumia Kenya Country Manager Sam Chappatte says the growth has been largely driven by a reduction in average price of smartphones with the price of a smartphone having more than halved from Sh23, 100 (231 dollars) in 2013 to Sh9, 700 (97 dollars) in 2016 with the lowest price smartphone currently being sold on Jumia X-Tigi P3, a 4 inch phone, at Sh2, 799.
“The competitive landscape in the smartphone industry has shifted over the last five years as Chinese brands dominate and drive the democratization of smartphones. This is accelerated by Chinese brands Infinix, Tecno and InnJoo entering into the market with high spec phones and decreasing price points,” said Mr Chappatte during the launch of the report on wednesday.
Mobile subscription penetration in the country now stands at 82 per cent.
In 2014, Kenya was listed by the Ericsson Mobility Report as among three African countries that are expected to play a key role in driving internet usage beyond a billion people by the end of the decade.
Internet Speed, Cost and Consistent Supply A Challenge
Speed, cost and reliability, however, remain the key challenges facing internet users in the country.
Even though Kenya’s internet speed was ranked the fastest in Africa and in the middle-east by the Akamai State of the Internet Report 2016 last month, speed continues to be a key concern for users.
Reliable internet connection has also been a great challenge. Zuku subscribers for instance, have been forced to contend with low and at times zero internet connectivity the last two weeks with dozens of irate customers taking to social media (through mobile data) to rant.
The service provider announced on their twitter handle that one of their international carriers, SEACOM, suffered a subsea fibre cut on 8th April, an outage with an expected down time of 3 to 6 weeks.
As communicated previously, SEACOM is experiencing a service-affecting outage on the SEACOM Subsea Cable System. The marine fault is located slightly west of Djibouti in the Red Sea and occurred on the 8th April 19:00 GMT.