Safaricom raises service rates in adherence to new taxes

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore stands next to the Safaricom Logo at a past event. PHOTO/COURTESY

The cost of calling and sending short messages via the Safaricom network has increased effective midnight October 18, 2018, the telecommunications firm has announced.

According to the telecoms giant, the cost of calls across the network will increase by 30 cents while that of sending text messages will increase by 10 per cent as stipulated by the Finance Bill 2018 which introduced a new excise duty tax on telephone and internet services.

“Levies applicable on Voice, SMS and Data services were increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. As a result, we wish to notify our customers that from midnight tonight, our headline price for voice calls and data will increase by 30 cents and SMS by 10 cents,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to data from the regulator, Safaricom, in the quarter under review, handled 9.1 billion minutes of calls up from 8.4 billion minutes recorded in the preceding quarter. The regulator further reveals that Safaricom’s 2018 calls amounted to 34.6 billion down from 35.6 billion recorded in 2017.

Financial estimates suggest that Treasury will earn approximately Ksh. 10.38 billion if the duration of calls handled by the network remain as they are.

Subsequently, Mr. Collymore announced that the firm had also revised the current charges for data bundles and fixed internet connectivity to adhere to the regulations specified by the taxman despite the fact that the organization had lowered the data rates in reaction to consumer pressure just two months ago.

In that effect, internet charges of Safaricom’s Platinum and Platinum Plus bouquet home internet have gone up by Ksh. 1,500. Subscribers of the aforementioned packages will now pay Ksh. 11,499 and Ksh. 12,499 respectively to access the service. Safaricom’s gold and gold plus packages have increased by Ksh. 700 as well to retail at Ksh. 5,699 and Ksh. 6,699 as well.

“The new rates are accessible on our website and all our customer touch points and USSD as mandated by law and the Communication Authority of Kenya,” read in part the statement.

Despite the hike in prices, CEO Bob Collymore re-assured Safaricom customers that the firm would not falter in offering exemplary services.

The firm’s decision to increase the cost of their data and call services mirrors that of Zuku and Jamii Telecommunications Limited (JTL) who had also done the same prior to Safaricom’s announcement.



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