Airtel, Telkom also increase service rates to adhere to new taxes


Airtel and Telkom Kenya have increased the cost of calling and sending short messages through their networks, the two telecoms firms announced on Monday.

Just like rival firm Safaricom announced last week, the cost of  calls across the two networks will increase by 30 cents while that of sending text messages will increase by 10 cents in adherence to the Finance Bill 2018 which introduced a reformed excise duty tax on telephone and internet services.

Airtel Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma reassured customers that the increase in tariff rates will not affect their mobile money platform.

“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,” Mr.Das Sarma said in a statement.

“However, the increased rates will not affect Airtel Money tariffs.”

Similarly, Telkom CEO Aldo Mareuse, in a statement, announced the firm’s new rates which took effect on midnight Monday.

“Off-net calls will cost Ksh3.30 per minute while on-net calls will demand KSh2.30 per minute. SMS across any network will now cost Ksh1.10 per SMS. In addition, our pay-as-you-go (PAYG) price for mobile data will also see an increase of 30 cents per MB. This translates to a new pay-as-you-go price of Sh4.30,”said Mr Mareuse.

In addition, the Telkom CEO guaranteed customers that despite the increase in call and SMS rates, the firm would not falter in offering exemplary services.

“Although these additional taxes will lead to an increase in the cost of Voice and Data services to our customers, Telkom remains committed to deliver best value to them,” said Mr Mareuse.

The Finance Bill 2018 which was assented into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta in September 2018, increased excise duty on mobile services to 15 per cent up from 10 per cent while placing a 15 per cent levy on internet services.

The move was sanctioned by the Executive in an effort to increase revenue collection and fortify the country’s dwindling budget which has been affected by the country’s mounting international debt.


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