After long talks on scrapping roaming charges for mobile users between respective telecom authorities in the East African region, business was expected to blossom for individuals who often make cross-border calls since relations between respective countries would definitely stand a better chance in the industry.
Kenya had earlier expressed its consent on the scrap saying the levies do not benefit neither the governments nor the citizens but a few individuals who own operating companies which therefore suffocates business prosperity and regional integration.
The talks took a different turn when Rwanda opposed the slash by Safaricom saying all international incoming calls would lose business if the levies are scrapped. Tuesday last week, Safaricom announced that its customers making international calls from Kenya to Rwanda or Vice versa would pay kshs 10 only per minute from the previous charges of kshs25 per minute which would also see the subscribers visiting Kigali pay the same from sh17.50.
Following the objection, subscribers will have to stick to the early rates at the same time the new development will make it possible for operators in Kenya and Rwanda to go ahead with planned down ward revision in tariffs. The telecommunications company has promised to push on with efforts to ensure that affordable rates are implemented in the region.
The last tariff review between Kenya and Rwanda was effected in October 2013, when governments within the region introduced taxes to international calls forcing operators to revise their rates upwards. Kenya’s Operator however remains committed to the effective implementation of One Network Area initiative by the East African community Heads of State, which envisages the reduction of International and Roaming tariffs reduced to lower costs of doing business and deepen social integration in the entire region.
Kenyans calling across the East African countries are subjected to the various levies implemented by the governments. This has been termed as back peddling considering the overtime talks various personnel in the region have congregated to have on the same issue.