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

Almost a week after Safaricom increased its voice, SMS, data charges as a response to the various taxes introduced by the government, Airtel Kenya has now followed suit.

But unlike Safaricom which increased the costs of voice, SMS, data as well as MPESA to reflect the new levies from the government, Airtel Kenya has instead decided to retain its mobile money charges at the current rate.

“Airtel’s focus as a leading telecommunications company is to ensure that all our customers get the best experience and enjoy the best value for their money wherever they live, work or travel. We strive to ensure that our customers receive the latest and most innovative products and services at the most competitive prices,” said Prasanta Das Sarma, Airtel Kenya’s MD, in statement.

“In view of the recent increase in excise duty, other taxes and rising input costs, we are constrained to increase our headline voice and data tariffs by 30 cents each and our SMS tariff by 10 cents effective from midnight tonight.”

Even with the increase in tariffs however, Airtel Kenya stated that the prices of all voice and data bundles including Unliminet, Tubonge and Amazing Data bundles will remain unchanged. Additionally, there will be no increase on Airtel Money tariffs.

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.

With Airtel Kenya joining Safaricom in increasing its voice, SMS and data tariffs in response to the new taxes, the only other operators yet to increase their costs are now Telkom Kenya and Equitel.


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