Kenya has been experiencing a gradual but significant shift in its internet services industry, with affordable internet provider Poa Internet slowly gaining market share and edging out big internet providers.
According to data from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Poa Internet’s fixed internet customer base rose from 106,571 to 120,168 between July and December 2021. This growth represents a 4.1 percent increase in market share, taking the company’s share from 10.8 percent to 14.9 percent, which saw it move into the number three spot, pushing out Jamii Telecommunication, which owns Faiba. This article delves into Poa Internet’s rapid growth and popularity, highlighting its low-cost internet offering and expansion plans.
The Rise of Poa Internet
Increased Market Share
Poa’s Impact on the Industry
In a market previously dominated by big players such as Safaricom, Zuku, and Wananchi Group, Poa Internet’s steady rise has seen it become a significant competitor in Kenya’s internet industry. The company’s impact is evident in its growth rate, which is significantly higher than the industry average.
Comparison with Other Providers
Poa Internet’s steady rise is in sharp contrast to Wananchi Group, which only experienced marginal growth in the same period, with its customer base only growing from 251,133 to 251,340. This growth rate is significantly lower than Poa Internet’s, which has seen the affordable internet provider gain a foothold in the market, mainly through its low-cost internet offering.
Popularity due to Affordable Internet
Cost of Internet
Poa Internet’s popularity stems from its low-cost internet, which costs as little as Sh1,500, compared to other providers, which can charge up to three times more for similar services. This affordability has been a significant selling point for Poa Internet, which has enabled it to penetrate low-income areas previously overlooked by other providers.
Poa Internet’s affordability and popularity have seen it expand rapidly into different parts of the city. After raising $78 million (Sh3.1 billion) in new funding in January of last year, the company expanded to Kajiado County, where it began offering services in Ongata Rongai and Ngong. In 2021, the firm continued its expansion plans, extending its coverage to Donholm and Umoja, among other areas. Some of the areas it serves include Githurai 44 and 45, Huruma, Kawangware, Kasarani, Uthiru, and Zimmerman, among others.
Recognition and Innovation
Africa 50’s Innovation Challenge
In 2020, Poa Internet participated in Africa 50’s innovation challenge, which sought cheap and reliable solutions for last-mile internet connectivity across the continent. This recognition highlighted Poa Internet’s innovative approach to providing affordable internet services to low-income areas.
Poa Internet’s affordable internet offering is a good start into revolutionizing Kenya’s internet industry, offering low-cost services that have enabled it to gain a foothold in a market previously dominated by big players.