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Kenya has undergone a significant technological transformation in the past decade, with smartphone penetration playing a crucial role in shaping the country’s digital landscape. With the proliferation of affordable smartphones and the expansion of internet infrastructure, millions of Kenyans have gained access to the digital world, revolutionizing various aspects of daily life.  

Smartphones have evolved beyond their original communication function to become adaptable learning, business, and leisure instruments. This extensive usage, reaching from cities to remote communities, has linked people across great distances and ignited creativity in financial services, healthcare, and farming, thus advancing socioeconomic progress.  

As Kenya continues to lead the way in Africa’s digital revolution the interdependent connection between technological progress and the widespread use of smartphones will accelerate additional advancement. This path is positioned to enable communities, promote comprehensive growth, and create new growth opportunities. 

The Mobile Penetration Rate in Kenya 

By gathering information from various sources, we can estimate the standard of mobile phones in Kenya and predict their widespread expansion. Mobile phones, especially smartphones, are everywhere in Kenya, from cities to rural areas. They’re not just for calls—they’re used for everything from buying goods to getting information.  

Experts predict that more individuals will acquire mobile phones due to their growing affordability and initiatives to enhance internet connectivity and digital literacy. Consequently, Kenya is moving towards a future where more of the population will have access to mobile phones, opening up new possibilities for development and advancement. 

GSMA Intelligence data indicates that Kenya had 66.04 million cellular mobile connections at the beginning of 2024. 

It’s essential to remember that many individuals globally utilize multiple mobile connections. For instance, they may have one connection for personal purposes and another for work-related use. Therefore, it’s common for the number of mobile connections to surpass the total population figures. 

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In January 2024, GSMA Intelligence reported that the number of mobile connections in Kenya exceeded the total population by 118.7 percent.  

Between the beginning of 2023 and the beginning of 2024, the number of mobile connections in Kenya rose by 1.8 million, marking a 2.8 percent increase. 

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, prepaid plans continue to dominate the market, representing 65,492,294 out of 66,745,709 subscriptions, leaving only 1,253,415 for postpaid plans.  

Safaricom is Kenya’s leading mobile subscription provider, with a substantial 44,013,156 users, making it the largest operator by a significant margin. Airtel closely follows with 19,387,460 subscribers, while Telkom lags with 1,343,276 users. 

Mobile subscription per operator by CAA 

Mobile Money Usage in Kenya 

Mobile money platforms have become the preferred option for Kenyan citizens due to their speed and cost efficiency. They provide a convenient and adaptable financial solution.  

The Communications Authority reported that as of December 30th, 2023, mobile money subscriptions had decreased to 38 million, resulting in a penetration rate of 75.1%. This decline is attributed to a reduction in the number of mobile (SIM) subscriptions.  

Furthermore, the report highlights that the mobile money penetration rate, which indicates the proportion of people using these services, started at 78.2% in December 2022, gradually declining over the year before stabilizing around 75.1% from June 2023 onwards. 

Social Media Usage 

GeoPoll recently released a report on social media usage in Africa, revealing rapid growth due to mobile accessibility and a youthful population. Platforms like Facebook’s dominance reflects their function as communication tools, sources of news, and hubs for entertainment. 

In Kenya, the top social media platform is Facebook, which 82% of respondents prefer. TikTok comes next, capturing the interest of 62% of participants, while Instagram follows closely behind with 57%. Twitter holds a strong position, with 52% of respondents favoring it, and LinkedIn, while somewhat less popular, still maintains a notable presence, with 28% of respondents indicating their preference for the platform. 

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These figures highlight the lively social media scene in Kenya. Facebook leads in user preference, with other popular platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn following closely behind. These platforms cater to various interests and demographics, creating a lively and interactive digital space. 

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GeoPoll, with its main office in Nairobi, utilizes the increasing influence of mobile technology to carry out surveys across Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. We engage individuals on their mobile devices through SMS surveys, voice calls, and web-based approaches. Additionally, we conduct face-to-face surveys using mobile devices to reach those who do not have access to their phones. If you want more details about our mobile methodologies, please contact us.