Reducing interconnection fees a timely move

The decision by telecoms regulator, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) to lower interconnection fees, is a timely move.It comes when the sector is witnessing further changes with the imminent entry of a new player into the market, Indian trans-national, Bharti Airtel.

The decision by telecoms regulator, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) to lower interconnection fees, is a timely move.

It comes when the sector is witnessing further changes with the imminent entry of a new player into the market, Indian trans-national, Bharti Airtel.

The study that informed this a decision was carried out by international accounting and quality assurance firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers  (Pwc).

It demonstrated how stakeholders were in agreement that the fees charged by operators to callers from other networks, needed to be adjusted downwards, to level the playing field.

RURA went a step ahead to institute a phased approach to reducing the fees, with the adjustments spread out over the next 2 years.

This will give room to the existing service providers - MTN and Tigo - to adjust to the new pricing, while at the same offering the new entrant Bharti Airtel, sufficient grounds to enhance their business plan prior to launching their operations.

Furthermore, consumers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of reduced interconnection fees as calling rates will consequently drop.

The Government targets to have 60 percent of the population subscribed to the national telecoms networks by 2012. To achieve this, the telecom services have to be more affordable and slashing the interconnection fees will greatly contribute to affordable rates.

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