Kenya reduces mobile calling rates by 30%
Kenyans will from March next year enjoy lower calling rates after the Communication Authority (CA) slashed the country’s Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) and Fixed Termination Rates (FTRs).
In a statement, the authority declared a 30% reduction in MTRs from 0.59 per minute to 0.41 per minute.
The MTRs and FTRs are the costs that operators charge each other to allow customers to communicate across networks. Currently, all the telecommunications service providers have been implementing an MTR and FTR of KES 0.58 per minute.
‘’The new rate is informed by the prevailing economic environment, ICT market dynamics and the need to strike a balance between the promotion of investment and the protection of consumers. Lower MTRs and FTRs mean lower calling rates for consumers.’’ CA said in a statement.
The new MTRs and FTRs shall apply to only local voice traffic, which means calls originating and terminating within Kenya.
CA said the revised rates shall apply for two years from March next year.
Ahead of the new rates taking effect, the authority has also urged all operators to vary their Interconnection Agreements in line with the Determination and file their Deeds of Variation with the Authority latest 1st February 2024.
A previous cut in the rate in 2022 from KES 0.99 to KES 0.12 sparked a war between Kenyan operators. While Telkom Kenya supported the move saying the review was quite timely and was a progressive step towards making voice services more affordable and accessible to Kenyans, Safaricom opposed it.
Safaricom event went ahead and filed a case with the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal (CAMAT) opposing the move. The matter was however settled out of court with both telcos including Airtel agreeing to settle for KES 0.58 which has now been reduced further.
Safaricom was however still the most affected announcing a 13.6% drop in interconnect revenues.
This latest move, CA says will have positive outcomes for both the consumers and operators.
‘’Consumers will now enjoy access to a variety of affordable services across networks while operators will have more price flexibility in developing more affordable products.’’