COMMUNICATION

CA considering cutting cross-network call charges

It has called on stakeholders and the general public to give views on the proposal.

In Summary
  • Kenya has been slashing the rate to ease communication costs since 2010
  • The connection rate dropped from a high of Sh4.42 in 2010 to Sh2.21 in 2012 before being cut further to the current Sh0.99.
The CA head offices. /FILE
The CA head offices. /FILE

Communications Authority of Kenya is likely to further lower the rate mobile networks charge each other to connect customers.

In a public notice, the regulator said it is planning to review local voice mobile termination rate and fixed termination rate using the benchmarking methodology.

It has called on stakeholders and the general public to give views on the proposal. 

The communication agency said it is high time the current rate of Sh0.99 per minute which was introduced in 2015 reviewed to match shifts in technology that have made mobile telephony more efficient.

“Owing to the passage of time, changes in the market as well as the macroeconomic environment, the authority now wishes to carry out a review of the telecommunication interconnection rates using benchmarking technology,” CA said in a public notice.

It did not give timelines for the planned review but said the current rate will apply. 

“Upon the expiry of the glide path in 2015, the authority decided to observe the market and see how the market reacts before proceeding to undertake another costing study,” said the regulator.

Kenya has been slashing the rate to ease communication costs since 2010, sparking uproar by mobile phone networks that consider the policy as retrogressive. 

According to CA, the connection rate dropped from a high of Sh4.42 in 2010 to Sh2.21 in 2012 before being cut further to the current Sh0.99.

Leading network providers in the country were hesitant to comment on the matter, saying they will give feedback to CA at the right time. 

If reviewed downwards, it will be a relief to mobile phone subscribers who are currently paying more for calls, messages and internet after excise duty was raised by five per cent in the current Finance Act. 

Airtel now charges Sh2.78 to make calls to other networks per minute while Safaricom and Telkom charge Sh4.87 per minute and Sh4.30 to call rival networks respectively.