Telecom companies Airtel and MTN Uganda will not increase data fees despite the 12 % tax on internet.
The 12 percent exercise duty replaced OTT Tax which was strongly rejected by the public as many resorted to using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to avoid paying for OTT tax.
The usage of VPNs to access social media forced the Ministry of Finance to come up with this proposal of 12% tax because it was the best way of making sure that this tax is paid.
There were fears among smart phone users in Uganda that the tax was going to force telecom companies to increase the price of data bundles given that the prices of data is still expensive to afford
A section of the public had called for protests against this tax because it was going to affect access to information and also deny students studying online a chance to study using the internet but Airtel Uganda Chief Commercial Officer, Amit Kapur said the company will not increase the price of data.
“We shall absorb the excise duty for all pre-paid packs, thus maintaining our pre-paid data prices till further notice” Kapur said in a statement
MTN Uganda also announced that they will maintain their data plans despite the new tax.
“All other standardized and customized voice and data bundles remain unchanged and are accessible on all our platforms.” MTN said in the statement.
All social media sites that required to pay for OTT of Ug Shs.200 per day have been unblocked by the Telecom companies and can easily be accessed if one loads any data bundle of their choice.
Uganda’s internet is still expensive according to what other citizens pay in the East African community