The cost of an SMS while roaming in Rwanda is US cents 12 in bundles and US cents 22 out of bundle; Uganda US cents 12 in bundle and US cents 22 out of bundles while in Kenya sending an SMS will cost US cents 11 in bundles and US cents 20 out of bundle.
According to the East African, the cost of sending a text message across borders will be cheaper for mobile phone subscribers in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries agreed to remove tariff charges for short message services (SMS) in a bid to fully implement the One Network Area protocol they adopted last year.
East African member states have agreed to slash these cost to a wholesale price for SMSs within the region at not more than US 3 cents per SMS, inclusive of all applicable taxes, while the retail price shall not exceed US 6 cents per SMS. The retail rate is the cost incurred in distributing SMSs and calls within a country while the wholesale rate is the agreed interconnection rate between networks.
The new charges were agreed on by the partner states at a meeting of regulators held on March 5 based on their consultations with the operators before the resolution was adopted by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
The drop in roaming charges is expected to stimulate growth in the telecommunications sector and promote cross-border trade. Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are expected to bar all the unregistered SIM cards from accessing network services.
A team of experts is currently working on data roaming transactions and pricing among operators and the new rates are expected to be adopted at the next summit scheduled for next month.
These forms of continued improvements is why the East African community is relevant to every East Africans today.
Credit: The EastAfrican