Internet Geographer


Mobile price wars and disposable income in Kenya

This is an interesting time to be in Kenya. A price war has erupted in the mobile market (instigated by Zain) and tariffs have dropped dramatically. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of people are switching, and planning to switch, their providers. This is particularly significant because Kenyans spend a huge amount of their disposable income on communications services (I’ve seen estimates of averages between 50 and 75 percent). Last week I had the opportunity to speak with both Alex Gakuru, Chairman of Kenya’s ICT consumer society, and Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications. Both agreed that cheaper mobile services will likely result in a significant increase in the amount of disposable income available to your average Kenyan. We’ll have to wait a while to see what the precise effects of this intense competition in the mobile sector will be, but there will undoubtedly be some transformational effects.

See also:

Our project to understand the effects of the new fibre-optic cables in Kenya.

Irish Times article: “Silicon Valley looking to Kenya for view of the future”
Mark Grahammobile, Kenya, ict4dComment