The reality of the Finance Act 2018 is finally taking hold as the cost of making calls, browsing the internet and sending text messages has spiked across the board with Airtel and Telkom following in the footsteps of Safaricom to increase voice, data and SMS tarrifs.
Airtel voice calls and data tariffs will now cost 30 cents more while messaging services have increased by 10 cents.
In a statement on October 22, Airtel Kenya chief executive Prasanta Das Sarma said, “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 effective from midnight tonight.”
It means that the changes to Airtel’s pricing that have been occasioned by the recently passed Finance Act 2018, will take effect as from October 23.
With Airtel having slashed their voice call rates to Ksh2 to every network in August, the new hike therefore sees the telco charge Ksh2.30 for voice calls across all networks.
Mr. Das Sarma added, “The prices of all voice and data bundles including Unliminet, Tubonge and Amazing Data bundles remain unchanged. Additionally, there will be no increase in our Airtel Money tariffs.”
Telkom subscribers will also endure a similar price hike of 30 cents for calls and 10 cents for SMS.
“Effective midnight, Tuesday, October 23, 2018, our headline prices for Mobile Prepaid Voice and SMS will increase by 30 cents and 10 cents respectively,” said Telkom CEO Aldo Mareuse in a statement.
This effectively raises Telkom to Telkom calls to Ksh2.30 while calls to other networks will be priced at Ksh3.30. SMS by Telkom subscribers will cost Ksh1.10.
Mobile data will also increase by 30 cents per MB, although Telkom said that mobile data bundles prices will not be affected.
This comes days after Safaricom announced a change in tariffs due to tax measures implemented by the Finance Act 2018. The law reviewed the rate of excise duty tax on voice, SMS and internet data services upwards from 10% to 15%.
Telkom said that their mobile postpaid services, broadband and fixed voice services will also see the introduction of the 15% excise duty tax.