By David Mugabe
KAMPALA, Sept 22 The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the telecommunication services regulator, is asking operators in the country to renegotiate with their partners across Kenya and Rwanda to enable seamless implementation of the One Network Area directive, which removes roaming charges within the three states.
UCC chief Godfrey Mutabazi says the three governments have instituted the termination rates in all countries to be 10 US cents and telecommunication comapnies are free to play around this figure.
The new termination rates means that for instance, an operator in Uganda routing its subscribers’ calls to another operator in Kenya, the rates should not exceed 260 Uganda shillings (10 cents US).
“They can play in that range (10 cents) and say make it seven cents and make a profit of three cents,” noted Mutabazi in a telephone interview from the Netherlands.
Carrying a local SIM card to a neighbouring country and using it to make calls has been one of the most expensive communication undertakings in the region with all operators charging different rates. In some cases, subscribers are even charged for receiving calls.
The development is a result of a decision by the Northern Corridor member states of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan adopted at a regional telecommunications framework for the implementation of a “One Network Area”.
This was agreed during the 5th heads of state summit for the Northern Corridor integration projects held in Nairobi, Kenya on May 2, 2014.
SOURCE: NEW VISION