(Corrects month in headline.)
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The number of people using mobile phones in Kenya, east Africa’s biggest economy, rose to 26.5 million in September, up from 25.2 million in June, according to the Communications Commission of Kenya.
The number of users rose by 4.8 percent in the three months through September compared with the preceding quarter as a result of “aggressive customer acquisition strategies and marketing by operators as competition in the market intensified,” the Nairobi-based commission said in a statement on its website today.
Safaricom Ltd., the biggest operator, maintained its lead with a 68 percent share of the market. It was followed by Airtel Networks Kenya Ltd., controlled by Delhi-based Bharti Airtel Ltd., with 16 percent. Telkom Kenya Ltd., a unit of France Telecom SA, added 16,683 new customers and has a market share of 10 percent, while Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd., a unit of Essar Group of India, had 46,742 new customers, giving it 6.2 percent of the market, the report said without providing data for the previous quarter.
There were an estimated 14.3 million Internet users, compared with 12.5 million in the previous quarter while fixed- line telephone customers declined 5.2 percent to 355,493, the commission said. Internet growth was boosted by increased use of mobile phones and at the end of September 36 percent of Kenyans had access to Internet compared with 32 percent in June, it said.
--Editors: Hilton Shone, Ben Holland
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