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Kenyans to enjoy cheap call rates starting January 2022

CA lowers mobile call rates across all networks

Kenyans will start enjoying lower mobile call rates across all networks for the first time in six years.

The lower termination rates will lead to lower calling rates to the benefit of subscribers already grappling with reduced spending power due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a general communication to the public, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director-General Ezra Chiloba said the authority has reviewed Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) and Fixed Termination Rates (FTRs) downwards to the benefit of all Kenyans.

MTRs and FTRs are costs that operators charge each other to allow customers to communicate across networks.

The telecommunication service providers were implementing MTRs and FTRs of Ksh.0.99 which CA has since revised downwards to Ksh.0.12 effective January 1, 2022.

“The reviewed interconnection rate is projected to have a positive outcome to both the consumers and operators. At the retail level, consumers will now afford a variety of affordable services across networks,” said Chiloba adding that “at the wholesale level, operators will have more price flexibility when developing innovative and affordable products.”

The review was prompted by the desire to make call rates affordable to Kenyans so that they can enjoy their communication activities.

The decision was arrived at after a consultative meeting that involved all stakeholders, including telecommunication operators, who were also involved in a public participation exercise that led to the reviews.

MTRs and FTRs have been reviewed twice and the first happened in 2007 and the second happened in 2010.

A previous cut in the rate was in 2010 from Ksh.4.42 to Ksh.2.21 and triggered a price war between Kenyan operators.

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.

Revenues for the larger operator Safaricom would likely fall but the impact would be more limited for its earnings.

Mobile subscribers in Kenya currently stands at 61.41 million with Safaricam dominating the market with 69.2 percent leaving the other fraction to be shared by other operators like Telkom, Airtel and Equitel.

Telkom recently saw its number of mobile subscriptions slide by 8.9 percent between January and March this year as Airtel raised the bar to capture a further 15.2 percent of subscriptions over the period.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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