Roaming charges in East Africa are to come down after the governments of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya promised to sit down and discuss the best modalities of bringing down the charges.
An announcement will be made on the issue on May 2.
This is according to Dr Fred Matiangi, Kenya’s ICT cabinet secretary, at the just concluded Connected Kenya summit held in Mombasa, who added they have so far identified key factors contributing to the exorbitant calling rates.
“The expensive roaming rates come from the different tax regimes levied in the respective countries,” said Matiangi.
HumanIPO reported in December ICT ministers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan met in Nairobi to discuss the integration of ICT infrastructure in the East African region, resolving to jointly find ways of reducing the cost of roaming voice and data charges.
Leading Kenyan operator Safaricom in October increased its international calling rates to East African Community (EAC) countries following new taxes on international calls from the Kenyan government, but recently the operator introduced new roaming bundles for its subscribers travelling across the region.
HumanIPO reported in September the Kenyan government had called on African mobile networks to lower their roaming charges for international calls, but Safaricom chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Collymore urged governments to consider easing taxes levied on mobile operators within the region in order to put an end to high roaming charges.