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New termination rates, excise duty dent Safaricom's voice revenue

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

The new call termination rates introduced in August this year and an increase in excise duty on SIM cards has impacted voice revenue for Safaricom.

According to the company’s half-year results (HY23), voice revenue decreased by 3.8% to KShs 39.88-billion.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said, “Given the impact of the Mobile Termination Rates from KShs 0.99 to KShs 0.58, a slowdown in business operations due to the elections period, increase in excise duty on SIM cards and mobile phones and a failed rain season leading to more economic hardship for the country, Safaricom has done very well to deliver solid revenue growth and a net income that is within the expected range.”

Mobile data and mobile money both saw a significant rise in revenue. Mobile Data revenue grew by 11.3% to KShs 26.30-billion, while M-Pesa revenue grew by 8.7% to KShs 56.86-billion. Total service revenue stood at KShs 144.83-billion.

Safaricom’s 5G has been deployed at 35 sites in five towns in Kenya and the company is planning to establish 200 sites by early 2023. Its commercial intent is to offer 5G Wi-Fi through its specialised 5G home routers.

The Ethiopian rise

Safaricom said its Ethiopian operation continues to attract new customers and said a month after commercial launch, the business has 740 000 customers and there are 20,000 new subscriptions daily.

In its results, the company stated: “Safaricom Ethiopia Service Revenue for the period ended September 30th 2022 was KShs 9.1-million while Total Revenue including handsets sales was KShs 98.3-million. Safaricom Kenya's net income grew by 0.6% YoY supported by the 4.6% growth in revenue.”

Safaricom has invested US$598-million in the operations in Ethiopia and Ndegwa added, “We are also encouraged by data and voice usage levels with 711 MBs average usage per active data customer and 30 Minutes of Use per active voice customer for the month of October.”

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