Home and Away is a new service provided by Rwanda cell(R-CELL) to make its prepaid and postpaid subscribers roam in Uganda, Kenya and eventually Tanzania.
According to the MTN Head Advertising Brand, John Jovith Maridadi, RWANDA-CELL Prepaid and post-paid subscriber can be reached via voice and SMS on the same number line while traveling in the region countries.
“Prepaid roaming subscriber can load airtime onto their account using their home network vouchers,” Maridadi said.
He added that calls are charged in the home currency since the charging aspects are by the home network.
“Prepaid and post-paid roaming subscriber can make calls to other MTN Rwandan (line) number at the cost as if they were in Rwanda as well as receive call and short messages service commonly known as (SMS), free of charge,” Maridadi said.
He said that prepaid roaming subscribers will benefit from a special tariff rate of 147(Frw) per unit when calling the partner network.
Maridadi further explains that all subscribers are able to make calls back home at their local tariffs except only those customers using per second system who will be charged as regular pay as you go standard.
MTN subscribers will have discounted tariff while calling the partner networks (MTN Uganda and Safaricom Kenya). All MTN Rwanda subscribers will also receive access to a special customer service helpline which is +25008111456.
He advises that loading of air time vouchers and balance inquiry are via USSD on the same short codes used in the home network which are; *111* access number followed by harsh and press OK, for loading airtime voucher and *110# and press OK for balance Inquiry.
He noted that migrants to MTN prepaid roaming will be automatic when the subscriber’s phone detects a roaming partner network and those that would have access to visited country emergency services will be via the international emergency numbers which is 112.
Maridadi revealed that all the calls made to the home network while roaming depend on the types of MTN service the subscriber uses. For example, business time, flex or pay as you go standard.
“Standard time band is not applicable for Home and Away, hence all calls originating will be considered as peak time” Maridadi said.
For example a Rwandan subscriber roaming in Uganda, calling a local number has to include a al code of Uganda followed by the number for example 00256772548924.
Country codes for Uganda +256, Kenya +254 and for Tanzania is not yet in full operations as negotiations for connections are under way.
He said that for those enjoying and want to get access to the voicemail, roamer will dial +25008100100 which is charged according to the time band.
How to access airtime vouchers
Maridadi noted that regional roamers top up using the usual air time vouchers; receiving a me2u transfer from your home country is charged 53(Frw) either on peak or off peak, and receiving a PIN transfer from home is free.
He said customers will be buying the home network air time vouchers from the roaming partner countries using their local currency from MTN Rwanda, MTN Uganda, and Safari com Kenya.
Kenya roamers can use sambaza (Kenyan me2U) to recharge their balance as well as Uganda. He said MTN Uganda and Safaricom customers can activate their roaming by opening the phone menu, then select setting; then select network setting; select manual and then select R-CELL.
For MTN Rwanda customer roaming in Uganda and Kenya, you go to your phone menu; select network setting; select manual then select safari com or MTN Uganda.
For those using R-CELL in Uganda can buy air time vouchers from New Kampala Taxi Park (Luweero stage), MTN shop at Mukwano shopping centre, Jaguar stage (vendors) and all Kencom shops, and for those in Kenya they will always get them from all Safari COM service centers.
Rwandan can access their recharge cards from Citycom( MTN dealer) in Nyabugogo Taxi Park.