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Kenya, Rwanda international tariffs suspended

03 October 2014, 10:00 Nechesa Chemoi

Nairobi - Safaricom announced the suspension of the proposed new International and Roaming tariffs between Kenya and Rwanda on Thursday.

In a statement, the company said the decision was reached following a directive issued by the Rwanda government, announcing the introduction of new levies on international calling and roaming tariffs between the two countries.

“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’, said Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore.

Also read: Mobile calling rates war intensifies

If the new tariffs would have been introduced, it would have cost KES 10 per minute for Safaricom customers to make calls to Rwanda. Customers visiting Rwanda would also pay KES 10 to call back home and within Rwanda.

The move would also have scrapped the charges for receiving calls while roaming in Rwanda, which previously stood at KES 25 per minute.

“We remain committed to the effective implementation of One Network Area initiative by the East African Community Heads of State, which envisages the reduction of international and roaming tariffs reduced to lower costs of doing business and deepen social integration in the entire region,” Collymore added.

However, Collymore said they had entered into discussions with the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Communications Authority of Kenya, seeking a revision of the position taken by the Rwanda government.

The last tariff review between Kenya and Rwanda was effected in October 2013, when governments within the region introduced taxes to international calls forcing operators to revise their rates upwards.

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