Safaricom calls, SMS and internet services to cost more from midnight tonight

Safaricom has this afternoon announced via statement that it will increase its voice, SMS and data tariffs from midnight tonight in response to various taxes introduced by the government recently.

In the statement, Safaricom, which lost 1.6 per cent of its marketshare between April and June this year according to the latest stats from the industry regulator Communications Authority (CA), noted that while it remains “committed to delivering great value to Kenyans, recent changes to taxes affecting its services were passed through the Finance Act 2018.”

(TOP: Bob Collymore, the Safaricom CEO).

“In particular, the Excise Duty tax applicable on Voice, SMS and Data services was increased from 10% to 15%. This is in addition to the prevailing Value Added Tax applicable to mobile services at the rate of 16%. We have since then been undertaking extensive engagement with the Government on the impact, timing and exact nature of services that these taxes will affect,” states the announcement signed by Bob Collymore, the telco’s CEO.

“Therefore, as a result of the increased taxes passed in the Finance Act 2018, we wish to notify our customers that from midnight tonight, the 18th October 2018, our headline price for voice calls and data will increase by 30 cents and SMS by 10 cents.”

As part of the upward tariff review, Safaricom has also increased prices for mobile data bundles, Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) to effect the new 15% Excise Duty tax on internet services. The full tariff guide has been filed with CA and is available on the telco’s website, via USSD, as well as other customer care channels.

“We are aware of and regret the impact these additional taxes on our customers. It is our sincere hope that these changes will not affect the remarkable gains we have made in mobile phone and internet penetration in Kenya over the last two decades,” added Collymore.

Safaricom’s other rivals – Airtel Kenya, Telkom and Equitel – are yet to review their tariffs as a result of the new taxes.

According to CA’s latest stats, Safaricom lost its market share by 1.6 percentage points while Airtel and Telkom Kenya gained by 1.7 and 0.2 percentage points respectively. Finserve Africa, which operates the Equitel brand, lost by 0.1 percentage points whereas the market shares for Sema Mobile and Mobile Pay remained unchanged.

Safaricom’s subscribers currently stand at 29.8 million, Airtel Kenya’s at slightly over 9.74 million with Telkom Kenya coming in third with 3.9 million customers. Equitel is fourth with 1.9 million users.


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  1. Like Safaricom, Airtel Kenya now raises voice, SMS and data tariffs in response to taxes | aptantech

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