Kenyan mobile market leader Safaricom has announced it is raising the cost of its wireless and broadband services, after changes to taxes were passed through the Finance Act 2018. In particular, the Excise Duty tax applicable on voice, SMS and data services was hiked from 10% to 15%, which is in addition to the existing VAT of 16% applicable to mobile services. As of 18 October, Safaricom has increased the headline price for voice calls and data by KES0.30 (USD0.003) and SMS by KES0.10, while the firm says it has also reviewed the cost of its fibre-based broadband plans.
In a statement, Safaricom stated: ‘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.’