Kenya on track for top 10 Opera Mini country ranking.
Opera Mini is the world’s most popular mobile web browser with over 30 million active users as of this writing. Every month, Opera Software, the makers of Opera Mini, conduct the definitive analysis of key trends affecting the mobile web worldwide. These findings are aptly named “the state of the mobile web”. Each report provides the most frequently visited sites, key data metrics from Opera Mini and a snapshot of a specific trend chosen by the analysis team that month.
In the report for August 2009, one of the most interesting findings is that the fastest growing countries (for Opera Mini usage) with double-digit growth percentages between July and August 2009 are Australia, Georgia, Vietnam, Kenya, France, Philippines, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Malaysia. Yes indeed! Kenya is right up there with these far more developed countries. More specifically, Kenya currently ranks 14th and has been climbing fast by growing 19% in usage between the months of July and August 2009. Incidentally, this torrid growth happened prior to the the recent go live of the SEACOM and TEAMS high speed undersea cables. However, in the same period, Kenyan mobile operators Safaricom and Zain have been aggressively pushing data bundles that have made the Internet massively more inexpensive, ubiquitous and accessible throughout the country.
Reinforcing the trends from the Opera report, a recent media story stated that Safaricom, the only 3G network in Kenya, has seen data usage on its network grow by more than 200% since the SEACOM cable went live. At the same time, in a recent report from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), internet usage growth in Kenya is largely being driven by the mobile operators since approximately 130,000 mobile internet subscribers got connected between the months of March and June 2009. The reality therefore going forward is that the mobile web in Kenya is definitely going to be one of the biggest African ICT success stories in the coming year(s). Its definitely time for us to fasten our seat belts for this ride!