Nairobi, Kenya. Mobile penetration dipped slightly in Q1 as the government cancelled unregistered sim cards. Nairobi, Kenya. Mobile penetration dipped slightly in Q1 as the government cancelled unregistered sim cards.

The number of mobile subscribers in Kenya declined by almost 3% to 29.8 million in the first three months of the year.

The decline was mainly attributed to the de-activation of 2.4 million unregistered SIM cards during the quarter, according to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

The decrease in mobile subscription resulted in a decline in mobile penetration to 75.8% in Q1 2013, from 78% in the previous quarter.

Similarly, the total mobile traffic declined by 1.2% to stand at 7.2billion minutes, down from 7.3 billion recorded in the previous quarter.

Uptake of mobile money expanded with subscriptions increasing by 10.1% to reach 23.2million. The number of mobile money transfer agents rose to 74,216, up from 62,300 in the previous quarter.

During the same period, the internet market grew to reach 9.6 million subscriptions by the end of March 2013. Mobile data subscriptions continued to dominate the market, contributing 99% of the total subscriptions.

During the quarter, the number of active registered domain names increased by 3.1% to reach 25,764 from 24,983 recorded in the previous quarter, according to the CCK.

Broadband subscriptions grew by 17.5% to reach 1.17million while international internet bandwidth available in the country increased to 921,319 Mbps.

The implementation of the National Broadband Strategy launched recently is expected to spur uptake of broadband in the country, the regulator said.

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