Safaricom doubled monthly subscribers during Covid-19 period

The telco celebrated its 20th anniversary yesterday

In Summary
  • The telco had a total of 35million subscribers as at yesterday indicating they gained around 146,000 subscribers per month it's inception.
  • Despite adding a large number of subscribers, Safaricom has been losing its market share to immediate rival Airtel.
Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa engaging Safaricom Chairman, Michael Joseph during the Safaricom @20 launch at a Nairobi hotel
Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa engaging Safaricom Chairman, Michael Joseph during the Safaricom @20 launch at a Nairobi hotel

Safaricom's subscriber base grew by two million in seven months since March, mostly driven by M-Pesa registrations for cashless transactions encouraged to curb coronavirus spread.

Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa said this during the telco's 20th-anniversary fete at a Nairobi hotel Tuesday.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed network provider has a total of 35 million subscribers, meaning, it has been gaining a monthly average of 146,000 subscribers since inception.


Having gained two million subscribers since March, this translates to around 285,000 subscribers monthly for the past seven months, almost doubling the monthly average.

In the past two decades, Safaricom has grown from a telecommunication service provider to a technology company and our customers have been a key part of this journey,” said Ndegwa.

Despite commanding 64 per cent of the market share, rivals have been nibbling at its market share.

Fourth quarter 2020 data from the Communication Authority shows Safaricom lost 0.3 percentage points in market shares to post 64.2 percent share in mobile subscriptions.

Airtel on the other hand gained 0.2 percentage points in market shares to record 26.8 percent share in subscriptions.

The firm said that the next phase of its growth will be driven by a vision to become a purpose-led technology company by 2025.

It intends to cover all 47 counties with a 4G network by the end of the year and plans to join the 5G bandwagon next year. 


It pledged to continue supporting the growth of SMEs and Micro-SMEs, which it termed as the engines of economic growth in the country by offering enhanced financial services and connectivity solutions.

As part of the celebrations, all Safaricom customers will enjoy one free call of up to 20 minutes within the next 30 days.