The telecommunications industry in Kenya is quickly adjusting to the newly amended Finance Bill that now imposes a rise in the Excise Duty from 15% to 20%. Telkom Kenya has now followed suit by announcing that these amendments will lead to a review in the prices of its voice, data and SMS products.
Taking effect on July 6, 2021, Telkom’s headline price for the Pay-As-You-Go Telkom-to-Telkom Voice will increase to KES 2.78. Pay-As-You-Go Voice price for off-net calls will also rise to KS 4.30. Customers will also spend more to send an SMS within the Telkom network and across other networks at KES 1.15.
Additionally, the prices for mobile data will also increase to KES 4.50 per MB. Luckily, the prices for both Voice and Mobile Data bundles prices will not be affected.
The increased prices almost mirror what we saw Airtel do in response to the additional taxes. However, it is interesting to see Telkom review its SMS prices as Airtel hadn’t done that. The increase is not as huge though making it similar to its rival’s rates.
Either way, the changes were definitely not been received well by Kenyans who will be left paying the tax. This was made clear when Airtel Kenya announced an increase in the cost of calls in accordance with the new excise duty.
This comes about two months after the Treasury decided to amend the 2021 Finance Bill that had introduced the digital service tax to all Kenyans and foreigners operating in the country. The tax was definitely not received well especially by young Kenyans who have been setting up purely online businesses, a move that seemed to be rising over the last few years.