Kenya has 26.1m Internet users

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Kenya has over 26m Internet users. PHOTO/FILE
The number of Internet users in Kenya rose to 26.1 million in the last quarter of 2014 owing to numerous data promotions carried out by service providers during the period.

This marked an increase of 4.8 million users when compared to the same quarter of 2013.

A sector report by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) shows that Kenya had 16.4 million internet subscriptions in the last quarter of 2014, a 24.8 per cent growth compared to the same period of the previous year.

“The growth in internet access and usage could be attributed to the numerous data promotions carried out by the various service providers during the quarter. For instance, one of the service providers offered free social media access by post-paid and prepaid subscribers on their network,” the report said.

The ascending trend in the Internet market is likely to continue as telcos continue expanding their networks thereby attracting more Internet users.

The number of internet users in Kenya stood at less than 10 million in 2011.

CA has in the past reports attributed the rapid growth to increased use of mobile data services mainly by young people on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

A report published in February 2013 by the International Data Corporation (IDC) said mobile phones had boosted ICT expansion and Internet usage in the country.

“The market is slowly shifting to services with the necessary infrastructure in place,” said the Julisha ICT Survey report.

The report placed Kenya ahead of South Africa and Nigeria in terms of Internet usage, though behind Africa’s heavy Internet users such as Egypt.

The report stated that the main uses of the Internet remained “searching for information at 75 per cent, communication at 64 per cent and downloading content at 59 percent.”