EAC States to Cut Call­ing Rates

Diplomat East Africa - - Table of Contents -

East African Com­mu­nity States have started the process of cut­ting roam­ing rates charged by mo­bile op­er­a­tors in the re­gion. They are in the process of re­cruit­ing a firm that will study the re­gional mo­bile tele­phony mar­ket and make rec­om­men­da­tions on mea­sures re­quired to bring down roam­ing charges.

The firm will also draft a pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory frame­work on In­ter­na­tional Mo­bile Roam­ing Ser­vices (IMRS) within the re­gion, which will then be dis­cussed by the EAC part­ner States be­fore be­ing adopted.

The con­sul­tant is ex­pected to be­gin re­search across EAC mem­ber coun­tries in Jan­uary 2015, pro­duce a re­port and draft frame­work ready by end of April.

Lower roam­ing rates are ex­pected to deepen eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion within the re­gion as well as har­monise ICT of­fer­ings within the Com­mu­nity. The ex­pected re­sult would be to in­crease choices avail­able to con­sumers as well as grow pen­e­tra­tion of ser­vices in the re­gion.

“The EAC has set aside funds in its 2014/2015 bud­get for the pur­pose of de­vel­op­ing a pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory frame­work for in­ter­na­tional mo­bile roam­ing ser­vices and it in­tends to use part of the money to pro­cure a con­sul­tancy that will un­der­take the as­sign­ment,” said the EAC sec­re­tariat in a state­ment.

The ob­jec­tive of the con­sul­tancy is to de­velop an ap­pro­pri­ate pol­icy frame­work and reg­u­la­tory frame­work for IMRS, based on the as­sess­ment of the pre­vail­ing mar­ket and reg­u­la­tory en­v­i­ron-

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