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Kenya: Tax impacting mobile penetration

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Some operators within Kenya's ICT sector have disputed official mobile penetration figures. (Image source: mobile via Shutterstock.com)
Some operators within Kenya’s ICT sector have disputed official mobile penetration figures. (Image source: mobile via Shutterstock.com)

It has been reported that a section of Kenya’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has contested mobile penetration figures released by the country’s telecommunications regulator, the CCK (Communications Commission of Kenya). At the same time some operators have criticised the resumption of the 16% tax charge on mobile devices.


An article in The Star says that some in the ICT industry have stated that the penetration figure is actually 30% and not 78% as stipulated by the CCK.

The report explains that authorities include active SIM cards in their calculations, but the reality is that most people use multiple SIM cards and therefore the actual number of subscribers should be lower.

This source quotes Jussi Hinkkanen, Nokia vice president for corporate relations in India, Middle East and Africa, as saying, “”The mobile phone now serves as the PC (personal computer) for many people…if you clean up the multiple simcards and the multiple devices that one user holds, the real penetration is between 31 to 35 per cent.”

With reference to the 16% tax on devices, The Star also quotes Tony Omwansa from the school of computing and informatics at the University of Nairobi as saying that this tax would make handsets more expensive and this would have repercussions for not only users, but developers who design apps for the mass market.

* Image via Shutterstock

Staff Writer

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