Safaricom in call, data price increases over taxes


Safaricom has increased the price of voice calls, data and SMS, passing on to consumers the 15 per cent excise duty tax imposed on telephone and internet services by the Finance Act 2018.

In a statement on its position, firm stated that it has raised the cost of calls by 30 cents, and SMS by 10 cents effective midnight.

Safaricom joins Zuku and Jamii Telecommunications (JTL) in implementing the price increase on their data and call products. 

“Additionally, we have also reviewed our prices for mobile data bundles, fibre to the building and fibre to the home to effect the new 15 per cent excise duty tax on internet services,” said Bob Collymore, chief executive officer Safaricom in the statement today.

The move comes after Zuku and JTL issued notices to customers notifying them of the new rates.

“Dear client. Following publication of Finance Act 2018 on 21-Sep-18; 15 per cent Excise Duty has been introduced on Internet data. Please note we have effected the same…” read a notice by Zuku to its clients. 

The excise duty applicable on voice, SMS and data was increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent, in addition to the prevailing 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on mobile service.

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Subscribers on Zuku’s the 10mbps package are now paying Sh3,999 up from Sh3,500 while those previously paying Sh4,198 will now part with Sh4,598. 

The tax has pushed up the cost of internet at a time when the dealers are locked in increased competition which has eaten into their profit margins. 

The notice on price increase comes barely two months after Safaricom slashed its data rates as a result of pressure from consumers for affordable internet.


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