The move which comes ahead of the East African Community Heads of State initiative dubbed “One Network” set to officially launch in 2015, will see the roaming rates for Safaricom customers visiting Rwanda slashed by 60 per cent, from Kshs 25 to Kshs 10.
With this development, Safaricom customers visiting Rwanda will make calls to local Rwandan networks at Kshs 10, which is a 43 per cent drop from the initial rate of Kshs 17.50 per min. Customers making international calls from Kenya to Rwanda, and vice versa, will be billed at a rate of Kshs 10 per min.
“These are the early wins of the joint lobbying initiative between operators in both countries and their respective governments over the last one year. We believe that by having affordable regional calling rates, we will be playing a crucial role in boosting regional commerce and social integration within the EAC”, said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
The move which comes on the back of intense discussions by the East African Community ICT Ministers has been enabled by the scrapping of prohibitive taxes and levies enforced by Rwanda for receiving calls while roaming in Rwanda – which previously stood at Kshs 25 per minute.
Collymore explained, “This is a significant milestone towards enabling people within the region enjoy affordable ICT services, in line with other aspirations of developing the EAC to become a formidable economic block within the continent”.
The last tariff review between Kenya and Rwanda was an increase effected in October 2013, when governments within the region introduced taxes to international calls forcing operators to revise their rates upwards.