Connect with us

Technology

East Africa roaming charges set to drop

Published

on

The One Network Area an initiative that aims to promote regional integration by bringing down the high cost of mobile roaming.

Kenyans making phone calls to Tanzania and Burundi may soon do so at affordable rates after the two countries agreed to join the One Network Area (ONA) initiative before the end of the year.

This was the outcome of the 25th East African Communications Organization (EACO) Assemblies in Nairobi in which regulators and operators across the region also agreed on a number of interventions that will see significant progress made in the advancement of ICTs.

The ONA is an initiative that aims to promote regional integration by bringing down the high cost of mobile roaming based on a set of regulatory interventions. These include eliminating charges for receiving voice calls while roaming in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda if the call originates in one of these countries. So far, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have implemented the plan.

The other is a waiver of excise taxes and surcharges on incoming ONA voice traffic while establishing wholesale and retail price caps on outbound ONA traffic. The final intervention requires mobile network operators (MNOs) to re-negotiate with their roaming partners to reduce wholesale tariffs.

READ: CEO RESIGNATION PUTS JUBILEE CHAIRMAN ON THE SPOT

The member states discussed extensively issues of cross-border frequency coordination. Due to frequency overlaps, Kenyans living at the borders with neighbouring countries are forced to roam, incurring huge charges in the process. The same challenges have also been experienced in broadcasting services.

East African Community and Northern Corridor Development Cabinet Secretary Mr Peter Munya who attended the event lauded ongoing efforts to harmonize regulatory and policies within the region and promised to support EACO’s quest to join the EAC.

Already the matter is now scheduled for discussion at the forthcoming 15th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Metrology later this month.

 ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr  Joe Mucheru called for action on enforcement of SIM card registration within EAC as part of efforts to promote safe use of ICT infrastructure.

Mr Mucheru said criminals are increasingly misusing ICT infrastructure, including unregistered SIM Cards to perpetrate crimes, including terrorism and kidnaps calling on mobile network to strictly adhere to the SIM card registration to help law enforcement agencies within the region to track down criminals.

‘‘If some countries or mobile operators do not enforce SIM card registration to the letter, criminal elements shall continue misusing unregistered SIM cards from neighboring countries to perpetrate criminal activities across our borders,’’ said Mr.Mucheru.

SEE: NEW RANKING LISTS BEST UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA

EACO was established foster the growth of ICTs, strengthen and promote cooperation in the development and provision of postal, telecommunications and broadcasting services in the East African Community

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) chairman Mr Ngene Gituku called on EACO member states to work closely towards harnessing the potential of ICTs in enhancing access to financial, communication, e-commerce and a host of other services.

In the same vein, CA Director General Francis Wangusi, who is also the chairman of EACO, said lack of an enforcement mechanism within the organization was hampering implementation EACO decisions at the local and regional level. EACO Assemblies offer a unique opportunity for sharing of experiences and ideas on emerging technologies and how they impact ICT and policy within the EAC.

NEXT: A MARKETER FINDS PASSION IN MAKE-UP BUSINESS

Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: editor@businesstoday.co.ke

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Updates

Opinion2 days ago

All-round approach will prevent tax offences and financial crimes

Kenya has become increasingly exposed to illicit products and counterfeit goods, hence the need to take an all-round approach towards...

Economy2 days ago

Kenya’s GDP to hit 5.7% despite debt burden

Despite a debt increase, Kenya’s GDP is expected to reach 5.7% up from 4.9% last year, according to ICAEW’s (the...

NEWS5 days ago

DPP seeks to withdraw forgery case in Sh500m Karen land suit

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has requested for withdrawal of the case against Guy Spencer Elms, the lawyer accused...

Politics5 days ago

Chebukati ‘out to fix Chiloba’

When Judge Stephen Radido delivered his ruling on Thursday setting aside IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati’s decision to send the CEO,...

Health7 days ago

Pharmaceutical firm backs social investments in healthcare

Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, and Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, have held...

Education7 days ago

MKU ranked among 10 best universities in Kenya

Four local private universities in top 10 ranking of universities in the country.

NEWS1 week ago

4 MultiChoice traders win trip to watch World Cup in Russia

They will have an experience of a lifetime touring Petersburg, the Vodka Museum and enjoy a private boat tour along...

Bt Intelligence1 week ago

Inside the boda boda millionaire industry  

In small doses of Sh50 and Sh100, Kenyans spend Ksh600 million daily on motorcycle services

Education1 week ago

Daystar University sacks vice-chancellor

Striking students had decried mismanagement of funds and quality of education

Politics2 weeks ago

Battle for Machakos governor heads to the Supreme Court

The court faulted the IEBC returning officer for using an excel spreadsheet to record results instead of Form 37A

Advertisement

Trending