A latest report on the Internet shows that the number of internet subscriptions in Kenya reached 4.7 million in the quarter from October to December 2010, as compared to 3.2 million at the end of the previous quarter (mostly attributed to the rolling out of 3G services). The data might be surprising, but not as surprising as the fact that GPRS/EDGE and 3G accounted for 99% of the total internet/data subscriptions during that period. Satellite and wired internet connections are as good as finished in Kenya.

Smartphones are no longer just gadgets for the wealthy. Fierce competition among mobile phone manufacturers began after Apple launched the revolutionary iPhone and captured huge market share. And as far as the gravity of economics goes, the heavier a segment gets with competition, the quicker prices start to plummet. In India, phones that cost close to Rs. 30,000 (about $ 650), cost no more than Rs. 18,000 – 20,000 (about $ 400 – 450) a month later. Some smartphones are initially priced even less. As a result, more people can now afford 3G enabled smartphones. Similarly, the competition in the telecom industry has compelled telecom
companies to offer cheap voice and internet services.

A May 2011 press release by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India reports a decline in the
share of urban landline subscribers within April and May 2011, even though the total number of
subscribers (urban and rural) grew from 861.48 million to 874.68 million. Even the number of
wireline internet subscribers reduced from 34.55 million to 34.40 million. The number of wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA and FWP), on the other hand, rose drastically from 826.93 million to 840.28 million within the same period.

The data shows trends of landline phones and wired internet services being slowly pushed out
of urban areas and being replaced by mobile connections. Affordable computers and broadband connections have already exterminated the internet café business. Nonetheless, if current developments persist, the smartphone revolution might just result in landline and home
broadband connection providers running out of business.