Interconnectivity fees must be lowered for consumers’ sake

Businesses are set up for one primary objective; to make money. However, when the profit motive becomes so paramount that the consumer is left gasping for air, the business is actually stifling its own growth potential.

Businesses are set up for one primary objective; to make money. However, when the profit motive becomes so paramount that the consumer is left gasping for air, the business is actually stifling its own growth potential.

This is the issue where mobile interconnectivity fees are concerned. The extremely high interconnectivity fees between MTN Rwanda, the market leader, Tigo Rwanda and former monopoly Rwandatel, have made it extremely expensive for the consumers, to communicate effectively.

This issue was raised by the Chief Operating Officer of Rwandatel in a story we published yesterday in the Business Times. While the Rwandatel official spoke on behalf on his company, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that businesses will transfer its costs to the end user, the consumer. So, while it’s MTN, Tigo and Rwandatel paying the interconnection fee of Rwf 40 per call, it’s the consumers who will bear the brunt of it.

The mobile phone business is extremely capital intensive and these mobile phones networks have sunk millions of dollars into the country, investing in infrastructure, training and marketing.

They deserve to be able to make a profit, but at what cost? The fact of the matter is that making a mobile telephone call in Rwanda is among the most expensive in the region. Shall we ignore the fact that the high interconnectivity tariffs play a role in this?  We urge the national regulatory body, RURA, to lower these fees, in the interest of the consumers.

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