Late last week, Parliament passed the Finance Act 2021, which is an amendment to the Excise Duty Act 2015. This amendment has seen the excise duty on telephone and internet services revised from 15% to 20%.
With the implementation of the Act, Telcos in Kenya have revised tariffs on their networks. Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom have all raised their airtime and data charges in response to the Act.
Safaricom: Safaricom has adjusted the price of its calls, SMS and data offers to reflect the increase in excise duty taxes. Users of Safaricom’s Fibre services for both home and business are equally affected and so are the Postpaid customers.
The company however will not implement these changes on data bundles purchased though the *544# USSD code. Safaricom has advised its customers to check out their personalized Tunukiwa offers on *444# in order to get the best value for their money.
Also affected with this increase in Taxes is Safaricom MPESA’s overdraft service, Fuliza.
“Dear Customer, following the signing of the Finance Act 2021, starting July 6th, 2021 Fuliza daily fees will include 20% Excise Duty. Access fees remain at 1%. Dial *234# for the revised Fuliza charges,” read a message to customers from the Telco.
Telkom Kenya: Telkom’s price for the Pay-As-You-Go Telkom-to-Telkom Voice will increase to Ksh. 2.78 with effect from July 6, 2021. Pay-As-You-Go Voice price for off-net calls will also rise to Ksh. 4.30. Telkom Customers will also spend more to send an SMS within the Telkom network and across other networks at Ksh. 1.15.
On the bright side, Telkom’s mobile data bundle prices will not be affected.
Airtel Kenya: Airtel Kenya customers will now experience Ksh. 2.78 per minute for on-net and off-net calls.
However, Airtel has stated that data and voice bundle prices remain unchanged. This means subscribers will not have to pay more to buy Airtel’s Amazing, Unlimited or Tubonge bundles.
These new tariffs will see Kenyans spending more on telecommunication services.