Kenya - 3.4 Telecommunications

Kenya’s communication sector led by The Ministry of Information, Communications and The Digital Economy (MOIC-DE) has responsibility for formulating, administering, managing, and developing the Information, Broadcasting and Communication policy.  

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is mandated to license all communications systems and services in the country. In executing this and its other responsibilities, CA is guided by the provisions of the relevant statutes, including the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 and the Kenya Communications Regulations 2001. Commercial telecommunications licensees are authorized to set up telecommunications systems and/or to provide telecommunications services to third parties in accordance with the license terms and conditions. CA issues commercial licenses on a first-come-first-served basis and the turn-around time is 135 days. The Authority has in place a Unified Licensing Framework (ULF), which is technology and service neutral. The ULF market is structured into three main licenses: 1. Network Facilities Provider. 2.Application Service Provider. 3.Content Service Provider. 

CA also issues licences for postal and courier services. The Postal Corporation of Kenya was established by an Act of Parliament (PCK Act 1998) and operates as a commercial public enterprise. The Corporation’s mandate includes provision of accessible, affordable, and reliable postal services to all parts of Kenya as public postal license whereby communication through the post office forms part of the basic human right as is enshrined in the 1948 United Nations Charter. Its mission is to deliver innovative superior communication, Distribution and Financial (Payment) solutions. The Post Office has a total of 623 outlets spread across the country. 

Mobile Telecommunication Industry in Kenya 

The mobile telecommunications industry in Kenya has witnessed immense growth. There are profiles of five companies, including Safaricom, which holds the highest market share for mobile data subscriptions, and other major players such as Airtel Networks, Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telecom, and Finserve (Equitel). 

To register sim cards / mobile numbers in Kenya, one is required to provide an original and a copy of the national identity card, passport, or alien card. A subscriber is only allowed to own not more than 10 sim cards. There are numerous data plans easily available as the providers compete for the market's dominance.  

For more information on telecoms contacts, please see the following link: 



Telephone Services 

Is there an existing landline telephone network? 


Does it allow international calls? 


Number and Length of Downtime Periods (on average) 

 The network is well monitored and maintained to alleviate minimal down time (0.01%). 

99.99% up time 


Mobile Phone Providers  

Safaricom, Airtel Networks, Telkom Kenya, Finserve (Equitel) and Jamii Telecommunications 


Approximate Percentage of National Coverage 

Over 90 percent 

Telecommunications Regulations 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is responsible for the development and implementation of policies and strategies with respect to telecommunications services in Kenya. The Authority licences, telecommunications operators, service providers monitor their performance on a continuous basis to ensure that they discharge the obligations as stipulated in their licences and are adhering to the provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act, 2013. 

An application is deemed received when the Authority accepts the application fees and issues a receipt, and the applicant has met all the requirements. Applications sent by post are logged in as letters until or unless the applicable license application fee is received. Once an application is accepted, it undergoes processing, which may include publication in the Kenya Gazette in accordance with the law. At the conclusion of the licensing process, an applicant is advised of the outcome in writing. 

The licensing process commences with the submission of a duly completed application form available for download at Licensing Overview | Communications Authority of Kenya. Within the form, details of the minimum requirements for acceptance of an application for each type of license and applicable fees are available. All applicants for commercial licenses should meet the following minimum conditions: 

  1. The entity should be registered in Kenya as a company, sole-proprietor, or partnership. 

  1. Have a duly registered office and permanent premises in Kenya. 

  1. Provide details of shareholders and directors. 

  1. Issue at least 30% of its shares to Kenyans on or before the end of three years after receiving a license. 

  1. Provide evidence of compliance with tax requirements. 


Regulations on Usage and Import 


Regulations in Place? 

Regulating Authority 



 CA due to Frequency allocation 

HF Radio 


 CA to Frequency monitoring and allocation  

UHF/VHF/HF Radio: Handheld, Base and Mobile 


 CA to Frequency monitoring and allocation 

UHF/VHF Repeaters 


 CA to Frequency monitoring and allocation 






 CA due to Frequency allocation 

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required 

Yes, the Licence is required for the individual Network operators 

Frequency Licenses Required 

Yes, Frequency Licence need to be obtained from CA 


Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems 

Apart from UNHCR, whose equipment is situated within the UNHCR Compound, the remaining systems are located at the UNON Compound in Gigiri. VHF and HF frequencies are commonly shared, and the movement of UN vehicles and personnel is tracked and monitored within the UN Common Radio Room. This administration is carried out by UNON as mandated by UNDSS Kenya. 

Clarify with Robert (UNDSS) 

Existing UN Telecommunication Systems 







VHF Frequencies 






HF Frequencies 






Locations of Repeaters  
















Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 

 According to, CA Third Quarter Sector Statistics Report for the Financial Year 2022/2023, the total mobile data/Internet subscriptions stood at 47.96 million out of which 67.1 percent were on mobile broadband. This being 42.0 percent of the total population. In contemporary Kenya, there are many Internet service providers. Some have national coverage, while others are limited to specific locations. The prices they charge for connectivity depend on the speed, location, and number of users.  

Internet Service Providers 

Are there ISPs available? 


If yes, are they privately or government owned? 

 Privately and government owned 

Dial-up only? 


Approximate Rates (local currency and USD - $) 



 Kes.10,000 ($70) 

Minimum Leasable ‘Dedicated’ Bandwidth 



List of Internet service providers in Kenya 


Fixed Data Subscriptions by Operator  


Service Provider/Indicator  

Number of data subscriptions  

Percentage Market share (%)  


Safaricom PLC   




Jamii Telecommunications Ltd   




Wananchi Group (Kenya) Limited*   




Poa Internet Kenya Ltd   




Liquid Telecommunications Kenya   




Mawingu Networks Ltd   




Dimension Data Solutions East Africa Limited   




Vilcom Network Limited   




Telkom Kenya Ltd   




Other Fixed Service providers   




Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) 

Accessing the internet in Kenya is easy. Broadband is widely used, particularly in the main cities, at 13.7 megabits per second. Kenya's average data connection speed ranks as the 14th fastest in the world, which is also double the speed of the global average data connection speed. In 2022, 85.2 percent of Kenya's population was connected to the internet, according to World Stats (IWS). 

Concerns in Mobile Financial Services (MFS) regulation in Kenya include interoperability in view of a dominant Mobile Network Operator (MNO), and transparency in terms of costing of the services. MNOs also play a double role of being the providers of the access channel especially USSD and as competitors of other providers of mobile payments. To mitigate against the highlighted concerns, the regulators have put in place short term and long-term measures. The short-term measures include the implementation of cooperation framework amongst the regulators and moral suasion. In the long-term, it is envisaged that a specialized agency to regulate the sector, the Financial Services Authority, will be formed through the enactment of the relevant legislation.  


Number of Agent Outlets by Area 

Network Strength by Area 

Contracted for Humanitarian or Government Cash Transfer 


Services Offered 

(i.e., Merchant Payment, 

Bulk Disbursement, 

Receive & Make Payment) 



2G, 3G, 4G and 5G 




Airtel Kenya 


3G, 4G and 5G 




Telkom Kenya 



2G, 3G, 4G and 5G 





To access network Strength by Area for each provider, kindly refer to the link below: 

For more information on Humanitarian Cash Transfer Programmes, refer to the links below: 

Digital Infrastructure 

According to the Kenya Digital Masterplan 2022-2032, Kenya currently boasts of being one of the most connected countries on the Eastern Coast of Africa. There are six submarine cables, namely TEAMS (5.2TB), EASSY (27.4TB), SEACOM (12TB), DARE (36TB), PEACE (192TB), and LION2 (12.33TB), that offer connectivity to the rest of the world. The Government's network is connected to the international broadband highway through TEAMS, in which the government holds a 20% share (1.04TB). The government has utilized its capacity in TEAMS by activating an internet capacity of 10 Gbps to serve its needs. 

Regarding National Connectivity, over the last ten (10) years, the government has constructed approximately 9000km of terrestrial fibre, extending to the sub-county level, connecting key government institutions and offices to provide government services through the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure Project (NOFBI). Telecommunications companies such as Safaricom, Airtel, Jamii Telcom, and Telkom Liquid have also built fibre infrastructure. 

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