Rwanda says no to cheaper roaming

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Mobile operators play a delicate balancing act between making enough capital to stay afloat while trying to provide the best services to its customers. Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom found out over the weekend that while you can tick all the right boxes, other mobile operators might throw a spanner in your plan.

Safaricom earlier this month announced that calls between Kenya and Rwanda will be slashed by more than half the cost, and Safaricom subscribers visiting Rwanda would pay the same rate to call home.

But the Rwandan government quickly put a stop to Safaricom’s plans by implementing additional levies on international calling and roaming tariffs to and from Kenya.

Understandably, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore wasn’t too pleased about the latest development, and said that Safaricom has no other choice than to go back to the original price of Ksh25 (R3) per minute. The planned reduced rate was Ksh11 (R1.30).

“This new developments make it impossible for operators in Kenya and Rwanda to go ahead with the planned downward revision in tariffs. We will therefore revert to the previous tariffs even as we push on with efforts to ensure that we have affordable calling rates for the region,” Collymore said in a press statement.

The turn-around by the Rwanda government has worried the East African Community (EAC), as it has a greater scheme to reduce cross-border call between Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.

The reduction of rates is also part of Safaricom’s plan to move toward the One Network Area, where mobile operators charge the same rate throughout member countries and don’t impose charges for receiving calls while roaming within the region.

[Source – Standard Media]

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.