ICT Kenya: 2014 year in review

Online shopping grew

Competition in online shopping grew with entrants in the nascent sector curving different niche to remain competitive.
Among the notable niche include dealers of used goods, brand new items, music.
An online data based was developed by Private security firm, KK security and online classifieds company, OLX, to tame spiraling cyber crime in the country.
The system aims to capture details of online buyers including national Identity cards (ID’s) and verified to secure e-commerce transactions.

Digital Migration

Kenya finally migrates from analogue to digital television broadcasting before the June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The move comes after, protracted court battles push for cheaper set top boxes and awareness creation that has lasted seven years since the move was mooted.
Cost of set top boxes have dropped significantly over the years from Sh 10,000 to Sh 1,799 for pay tv platforms and Sh 4,000 for Free-to air.

4G Network

Safaricom finally rolled out its high-speed 4G network to up game on the data segment-targeting to comprehensively reach out Nairobi and Mombasa By March 2015.
Chinese Mobile handset makers Huawei and Techno launched their 4G powered smartphones in the Kenyan market.

Essar’s Yu sold out to rivals

Indian mobile operator Essar agreed to sell Kenyan number three yuMobile to local rivals Airtel and Safaricom for Sh 10.5 billion ($120 million).

Microsoft dropped Nokia brand for Lumia

The landmark decision was made after tech giant bought Nokia’s mobile division back in April for $7.2bn along with a 10-year deal to use the Finnish company’s name on smartphones.

Smartphone users grew

Mobile phone subscriptions stood at 32.2 million, a figure that grew by almost 450,000 compared to the first quarter of the year buoyed by growth in middle class.
Industry reports claim penetration rate of smart phones in the country stands at 18 percent with over 15,000 devices sold each month.
Global smartphone shipments hit a new record of 295.3 million units in the second quarter of 2014, posting a 23.1 percent growth year over year and was expected to reach 300 million before year end.

Samsung/ Apple Battle for top spot intensified

Apple’s Iphone 6 plus launch laid it bare that the American multinational was planning to end a monopoly held by Samsung through its Galaxy series over the last three years.

Phablets cannibalized tablets

Latest IDC prediction: Phablet shipments (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) will reach 175 million units worldwide in 2014, passing the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship during the same period

Adoption of credit cards soared

The country experienced signing of mega deals for credit cards between multinationals, local retailers and commercial banks in the plastic card market.
Kenya has less than 200,000 credit cards with industry reports putting the market’s potential at 400,000 units.
Mobile money transactions
Over the last12 months most retailers’ big and small alike also adopted mobile money services to push up total transaction value to Sh 1.1 trillion from Sh 871 million last year.

Thin sim technology
Equity Bank was given go ahead to launch Thin sim technology in Kenya to rival Safaricom’s M-pesa.