Mobile phones, SIM card prices up from Friday on taxes


Mobile phones, SIM card prices up from Friday on taxes

Safaricom will increase from Friday the price of new mobile phones by at least 10% and the cost of SIM cards by Sh50. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Safaricom will from today (Friday) raise the price of new cellphones by at least 10% and the cost of SIM cards by Sh50, which will allow buyers to benefit from higher prices by passing on the pain of news consumer taxes.

This means that mobile phone users looking to replace or re-register for new Safaricom lines will pay more for the line while buyers of new Safaricom phones will dig deeper into their pockets.

Safaricom sells different brands of phones in its various outlets across the country.

Safaricom said the price hike follows the introduction of a new duty imposed on gadgets and imported lines through changes to laws that came into effect earlier this month.

“As of July 15, 2022, we will revise the price of our SIM card to 50 shillings plus the first top-up of 50 shillings to include excise tax,” Safaricom said.

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

The 2022 Finance Law imposed a 10% excise duty on the importation of mobile phones in addition to an excise duty of Sh50 on each ready-to-use SIM card imported.

“In addition, the East African Community has applied a 25% import duty on phones under the Common External Tariff,” Safaricom said.

Safaricom, the largest telecommunications operator which controlled 65.88% of mobile subscriptions last March, charges 50 shillings for the replacement and new list of SIM cards. Its competitors like Airtel and Telkom do not charge for new SIM subscriptions.

According to the latest industry report covering the three months ending March, the number of active SIM cards decreased by 124,689 to 64.9 million, compared to 65.1 million subscriptions in the previous quarter.

The Authority requires mobile operators to ensure that they have up-to-date registration information for their subscribers, in accordance with the SIM Card Registration Regulations 2015.

The exercise aimed to ensure 100% compliance with the SIM Card Registration Regulations, which, among other things, require operators to keep a copy of each subscriber’s identification documents.

The deadline for subscribers to update their registration information is October 15, 2022.

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