Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda set to cut calling rates

Making phone calls from Kenya to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan is set to become cheaper after the governments decided they would scrap roaming charges and cap the fees mobile operators charge one another for terminating calls.

Kenya’s ICT secretary Fred Matiang’i said the four governments would set up a technical committee to review taxes on calls and have a common position by February.

“After three days of fruitful meetings we have come up with a number of proposals,” said Dr Matiang’i. ICT ministers John Nasasira of Uganda and Jean Nsengimana of Rwanda attended the meeting. 

Roaming and international calling charges in East Africa are higher than those in Asia and Europe. 

The high tariffs are caused partly by taxes and constitute a trade barrier. 

Mobile operators blame the high roaming rates on taxation of international traffic which was introduced recently. 

“Tackling taxation is critical to manage the high cost of roaming in the region,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told Business Daily on Wednesday.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Okuttah Mark from Nairobi, Kenya
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