Safaricom experiences growth in Voice ARPU, mobile data slumps

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Safaricom Half Year Results
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Safaricom did announce Half Year financial results, and Voice was a clear winner for their bank account. Voice usage has gone up bringing in more revenues. Average revenues per user grew from Kshs 288 to Kshs 320, which is quite a fete, considering the price wars that have been ongoing with competitors Airtel, Yumobile and Orange Kenya.
Competitors lowered prices but Safaricom stuck to it’s guns all through. Safaricom has since balanced the on-net and off-net calls price at Kshs. 4. Other products that have seen growth are SMS up from 35 to 39 shillings per user, Mpesa also did good with a 23 bob margin growth.

However, the elephant in the room that is Mobile broadband told a different story altogether. This dropped from Kshs. 110 to 92 in revenues per user. Internet consumption the world over is on an upward trend, and Safaricom as the main vendor of mobile data did experience decline in revenues per user. Pundits would attribute this to the discontinuation of unlimited bundles offering that Safaricom announced in April.

Other Mobile Network Operators maintained the unlimited offering albeit with some like Orange adding emphasis on fair usage policy and also increasing the pricing of these packages. Safaricom did run a campaign to entice users to purchase the 1GB bundle where you would get 50% extra free. Seems the impact for the unlimited offering discontinuation is yet to go away.

Revenues on data experienced growth as mobile and fixed data customers grew by 30% so the impact wasnt felt in the overall revenues figures. Adoption of smartphones and other data consuming devices could have contributed to this growth also as growth in low end smartphones continues.

Other stats included in this announcement are:

  • 19% total growth in revenue.
  • 7% customer growth, now at 19.2million customers
  • 19% growth in voice revenue
  • 32% of Top-ups are now done directly via MPesa
  • Non-Voice revenue grew by 28% up to 32% of total revenues
  • Mobile data revenues growth is at 22%
  • Fixed Data revenues at 60% growth
  • SMS did 17% revenues growth
  • Mpesa revenues up 32%
  • 30% growth in mobile and fixed data revenue
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