Airtel Uganda increases data rates due to internet tax

The start of this month came with some anxiety of its own since people did not know what to expect from the new internet tax on mobile data. It is now confirmed, Airtel Uganda increases data rates after maintaining its silence on the topic for some days now.

So many questions were unanswered in the early days with people wondering whether telecom companies would increase data rates exorbitantly or reduce the size of the data packages.

Also read: The end of OTT tax ushers in the 12% tax on mobile data

In the following days, a number of telecom companies have communicated about where they stand in regards to the new tax. However, Airtel Uganda maintained its silence on the topic following a service shutdown that lasted almost 48 hours leaving people stranded as they couldn’t access the company’s mobile money services.

Read more: Airtel service shutdown: Customers handed disappointment and excitement

Until recently, the company had not made any statement about the tax neither were there any noticeable changes with the data rates. A recent communication via the company’s Twitter handle shows that the 12% tax will now apply to Airtel fixed internet services.


The Airtel Business rates will be increased due to the additional 12% tax on mobile internet that took effect on 1st July. With the Airtel shared plan of 5 Mbps, the price will go up from UGX 350,000 to UGX 392,000.

According to Airtel, for dedicated internet and data plans, an additional 12% excise tax will apply based on a case by case pricing applicable to you. For now, these are the only packages from the telecom company that will be affected.

Currently, it looks like MTN and Africell will be the only telecom companies that will not adjust mobile data rates due to the tax which implies that the tax burden will fall on these telcos. Other companies have adjusted the rates accordingly.

Read more: MTN, Africell to pay the 12% internet tax for customers

The effect of the tax remains unprecedented as the tax is still new. However, the similar OTT tax proved that taxing internet services is not as effective citing its poor performance and failure to reach revenue target.

According to the audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, there will be exclusion for data used for the provision of medical and education services. Ugandans are yet to find out how the government will implement this tax while maintaining the said exclusions. 

READ: How to place an order on Glovo in Uganda

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