Safaricom has cut by 60 percent cost of calls its subscribers incur while calling family and friends in Rwanda, signaling cheaper cross-border rates.
The new charges that have been slashed from Sh 25 to Sh 10 per minute will be effective today.
The new rate applies to all international calls from Kenya to Rwanda, while those calling from Rwanda to other Rwandan network operators will be charged Sh 8 from previous Sh 17.50 per minute.
The move comes ahead of next year’s East African community heads of state initiative that seeks to lobby for reduced cross-border calling rates.
The development is the result of intense debate by the East African Community ICT Ministers that has seen scrapping of prohibitive taxes and levies enforced by Rwanda for receiving calls while roaming in Rwanda.
“These are the early wins of the joint lobbying initiative between operators in both countries and their respective governments over the last one year. We believe that by having affordable regional calling rates, we will be playing a crucial role in boosting regional commerce and social integration within the EAC”, said Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore.
Latest statistics by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) recorded a 33.2 percent drop in roaming-out voice traffic from 12.7 million to 8.5 million, months after Safaricom increased its international calls by Sh 7 to Sh 25 blamed on the Rwanda levies.
Rwanda charged nine shillings in levies being among top three countries with highest levies- Tanzania and Burundi charges Sh 10 and Sh13 respectively while Uganda charges seven shillings.