Kenya’s telecoms regulator – The Communications Authority of Kenya is set to reduce mobile termination fees that service providers charge customers when making calls to a different network. This basically means that Kenyans will soon start making calls between networks at a much lower rate than it was previously. According to the regulator, a change in mobile technology has made it efficient to initiate calls from a different network to a different provider within the country.
In a public notice issued yesterday, the country’s regulator acknowledged that a shift in time has impacted changes in the microeconomic environment, therefore necessitating a review of telecommunication interconnection rates based on a benchmarking technology.
According to recent industry data covering the telecommunications sector, the interconnectivity rates have been coming down compared 10 years ago. Data shows that it cost Kenyans Ksh 4.42 to make calls to different networks back in 2011 compared to today which only attracts Ksh 0.99. the Authority will review the current rates, making it the first time it has done so since 2015.
Going with recent rate wars amongst service providers, this move is set to make the stakes even higher, allowing subscribers to make calls to different networks at even lower rates. CA says it was about time to review the rates since they’ve had adequate time to prevail. The termination rates are particularly not favorable to small operators as customers are more likely to spend more time calling other networks instead of its own.
Subscribers are currently grappling with effects of moving the tax rates from 16 percent to 20 percent and this move will most likely reprieve them from already expensive rates.
How much local providers are charging to make calls to other networks
Currently, Airtel Kenya charges its subscribers Ksh 2.78 to make calls to other networks per minute while Safaricom and Telkom charge Sh4.87 per minute and Sh4.30 to call rival networks respectively. With the new rates, local providers like Telkom Kenya and Airtel are expected to be the main beneficiaries from the plan, as well as consumers.