Mobile phones, SIM card prices up starting Friday on taxes


New taxes: Safaricom will increase the price of new mobile phones by at least 10 percent and the cost of SIM cards by Sh50. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Safaricom will from today (Friday) increase the price of new mobile phones by at least 10 percent and the cost of SIM cards by Sh50 setting up buyers for increased prices as it passes on the pain of the new taxes to consumers.

This means mobile phone users seeking to replace or register afresh for new Safaricom lines will pay more for the line while buyers of new Safaricom phones will dig deeper from their pockets.

Safaricom sells various brands of phones at its various outlets around the country.

Safaricom said the hike in prices follows the introduction of a new duty slapped on the gadgets and imported lines through changes to the laws that took effect from the start of this month.

“Effective 15th July 2022 we will be reviewing our SIM card pricing to Sh50 plus Sh50 airtime first top up to include the excise tax,” said Safaricom.

“Phone prices will be adjusted to include the 10 percent excise tax and 25 percent import duty as existing stock levels are replaced with new stock on which the new taxes apply.”

The Finance Act 2022 imposed a 10 percent excise duty on the importation of cellular phones in addition to Sh50 excise duty on every imported ready-to-use SIM card.

“In addition, the East African Community has applied a 25 percent import duty on phones as part of the Common External Tariff,” said Safaricom.

Safaricom, the largest telco which controlled 65.88 percent of mobile subscriptions last March, charges Sh50 for replacement and fresh SIM listing. Its competitors such as Airtel and Telkom do not charge for new SIM subscriptions.

According to the latest sector report covering the three months to March, the number of active SIM cards declined by 124,689 to stand at 64.9 million down from 65.1 million subscriptions in the preceding quarter.

The Authority requires mobile operators to ensure they have updated registration details of their subscribers, in line with the SIM Card Registration Regulations 2015.

The exercise was meant to ensure 100 per cent compliance with the SIM Card Registration Regulations, which, among other things, require operators to retain a copy of identification documents of every subscriber.

The deadline for subscribers to update their registration details is 15th October 2022.

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