By CONRAD ONYANGO
Telkom Kenya has made fresh calls for review of Mobile phone Termination Rates (MTR) charges.
Barely, a year since President Mwai Kibaki put on hold MTR rates, Telkom Kenya Chief executive officer Mickael Ghosien is up in arms calling for a review of the rates citing lowering of the rates as unfair and unprofitable to some operators. Ghosien is now campaigning for the current rates to be doubled to provide level ground for all operators.
“The current MTR rates adjustments are irrational, impacting on operators cost of maintaining business, settling company bills, paying employees and so on. Reviewing the rates will ensure the market is favourable for all operators,” said Ghosien.
“The rates should be two times up, in the next few days we will issue a letter to present our call,” added Ghosien without giving the exact date.
If the operators call will be heeded by the communications regulator, it will see the rates returning to where they were in August 2010 before they were halved from Sh 4.42 from to its previous Sh 2.21 for calls across newtorks.
Safaricom and Telkom have since been against the move saying they are subjected to risky operating environments.
But time will tell whether CCK will burge and consider doubling the rates, considering the regulator’s latest call for further lowering of the rates when it realeased its first quarter results for 2011/2012 earlier in the year.
Ghosien said this yesterday when he unveiled an additional bonus offer linked to its orange Ziada loyalty programme, aimed at boosting the firms customer base.
The offer, Angukia, has been designed to to cater for diverse usage pattern for Orange customers. This will see the customers earning bonus points from total traffic minutes spent on calls, number of local on-net and off-net and international sms’s sent, data spent and top ups made.
“Subscribers who will maintain three consecutive months in their subscrption choice, be it on voice, or on entertainment or even on data will get more bonus for the respective subscriptions,” said Telkom Kenya, Chief Execcutive Mickael Ghosien.
This new offer is set to enhance Orange’s competitiveness as it strive to beat its targeted 11.2 percent market share by the end of the year. This will also see the telecommunication provider increasing its customer base.
“We will go to even make across network charges free to see ourselves increasing our customer base,” said Ghosien.
According to the latest sector report from CCK Orange Telkom gained 1.25 percent in market share last year to stand at the current 6.2, making it third after Safaricom and Airtel leading with 67.7 and 15.7 percent respectively.
The operator further revealed it will continue laying its focus in the data market in effort to increase its revenues. However, cable vandalism remain an obstacle to its new investment area.
“We will contnue pushing for data, expected to grow by $ 50 million dollars annually we see it a good business for us. Our greatest challenge is however increased cable cuts,” said Ghosien.