Voice, data rates up from new taxes

Kenyans will pay more for voice and data as telecoms operators begin effecting a higher rate of excise duty. This is following amendments to the Excise Duty Act which increased the rate of excise duty on telephone and internet data services from 15 to 20 per cent. The change took effect on Thursday following the assent of the 2021 Finance Bill, now an Act by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday. While the cost of purchasing airtime and data bundles may hold unchanged, the voice and data purchases will be depleted at a faster rate as unit costs rise. On Friday for instance, Airtel announced it had increased its headline voice tariff Ksh.2.78 per minute. The telco has nevertheless left the prices of its data and voice bundles unchanged. Other telco operator including Safaricom and Telkom were yet to communicate changes to the pricing of their voice and data offers to customers at the time of publishing this story. Changes to the excise duty regime for telephone and internet services were introduced as new amendments to the 2021 Finance Bill by Members of Parliament (MPs).

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