The cost of making calls to countries in the region rises

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The cost of making calls to countries in the region rises


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A woman makes a call on her mobile phone. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NMG

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  • Official data shows that the cost of calls to Burundi grew highest to Sh71.67 per minute from Sh66.67 in 2020, followed by calls to Ethiopia and South Africa.
  • The rise in mobile call rates has added to the pain of Kenyans facing a rise in the cost of basic goods such as food, electricity and fuel.
  • The average cost of calls to Tanzania, South Africa and South Sudan is the highest in four years at 50, 33.33 and 10.67 sh per minute, respectively.

The average cost of making calls from Kenya to other African countries rose as much as Sh5 a minute last year, making it more expensive to do business across borders and stay in touch.

Official data shows that the cost of calls to Burundi grew higher to Sh71.67 per minute from Sh66.67 in 2020, followed by calls to Ethiopia and South Africa which rose by Sh3 to Sh36.67 and Sh33.33 per minute respectively. .

The rise in mobile call rates has added to the pain of Kenyans facing a rise in the cost of basic goods such as food, electricity and fuel.

“The average price of calls from a mobile phone for African countries increased with Burundi having the highest increase of 5 shillings to stand at 71.67 shillings in 2021,” says the Kenya Bureau of National Statistics in the 2022 Economic Survey. .

The average cost of calls to Tanzania, South Africa and South Sudan is the highest in four years at 50, 33.33 and 10.67 sh per minute, respectively.

Last year’s call rates marked the first increase in outgoing calls to Uganda and Ethiopia since 2017, highlighting the effect of increasing excise duties on mobile calls and data from 10% to 15%.

The increase came as telcos revised their calling rates to reflect increased excise taxes on airtime and data.

Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya increased calling rates in July last year to reflect the increase in excise tax on airtime and data from 15% to 20% through the Finance Act 2020.

MPs raised excise taxes on airtime and data from 15 percent to 20 percent in a move aimed at collecting at least 8 billion shillings from telecoms companies.

Telecoms companies raised calling rates by as much as 2.78 shillings a minute last year, adding to the pain of callers already hit by high commodity prices.

The higher cost of telecommunications is part of a general rise in the price of many goods and services, increasing pressure on households and businesses. Annual inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased from 5.4 percent in 2020 to 6.1 percent in 2021.

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