Tuesday January 2 2018

Data bundles eat into URA, telecom company revenues

Serving customers. Ms Doris Akol, the URA

Serving customers. Ms Doris Akol, the URA Commissioner General, serves a customer at the Diamond Trust Building on Kampala Road. This was during a campaign dubbed ‘Be Served by the Commissioner General.’ PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE  

By Stephen Otage

Kampala. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said telecommunication companies’ revenues are shrinking due to cheaper voice and data bundles which many subscribers have opted for.
Addressing journalists at their Diamond Trust Building on Kampala Road on Friday last week, Ms Doris Akol, the URA Commissioner General, said telecommunication companies are now posting lower revenue collections due to the cheaper data and voice bundles as opposed to the airtime tax which ranked them among the top tax payers.

“Many of you today no longer use airtime the way you used to because of free bundles and data which you use to communicate. There is a general change in the way people use telecommunication services,” she said.
She added that even sectors such as manufacturing, import, wholesale, retail and banking are experiencing a slowdown in business activity.
In a campaign named: ‘Be Served by the Commissioner General,’ Ms Akol has been engaging with clients one on one and serving them using the e-tax system.

She attributed it to the long electioneering process in Kenya which she said affected intra-trade between Uganda and Kenya.
She said this is one of the ways of revamping the client centric approach to the way URA serves its customers so that they can serve customers better. She added that they hope to use this approach to develop policies in a consultative manner with their clients as they have often done with their clients using other fora through which they normally get feedback.