Telecoms slash roaming fees as one area network initiative starts

Local telecom firms have introduced lower tariffs for subscribers making phone calls to Kenya.

Local telecom firms have introduced lower tariffs for subscribers making phone calls to Kenya.

MTN will now charge roaming clients Rwf60 per minute for calls to any network in Kenya, while Airtel charge Rwf69 per minute effective today as part of the one area network initiative unveiled in June for the Northern Corridors countries. Tigo subscribers will part with Rwf70 per minute, according to Pierre Kayitana, the firm’s public relations officer.

All the telecoms’ subscribers will also receive calls free of charge while in Kenya.

Last week, Patrick Nyirishema, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (Rura) director general, told The New Times that Rwanda and Kenya would officially launch the uniform charges this week during the on-going Northern Corridor Heads of State Summit in Kampala.

The tripartite states had set October 1 as the deadline for the implementation of the one area network initiative that also includes Uganda.

However, Nyirishema said the telecom companies had not yet configured their systems to allow the new charges to take effect on the due date, thus the postponement to yesterday.

The new rates show a reduction from an average of Rwf200 per minute the firms charged roaming subscribers previously.

John Magara, the Airtel Rwanda marketing manager, said the reduction is part of ensuring seamless communication for users.

Uganda is expected to come on board by Wednesday, according to Nyirishema. The country’s telecoms were bogged down by the regulator, which was still reviewing its policy.

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