• East Africans making telephone calls to Tanzania and Burundi will enjoy cheaper charges as the two countries prepare to adopt the region’s standardized roaming charges.

    The implementation of the framework for the East African Community’s standardized roaming charges will see Burundi and Tanzania join the Northern Corridor Integration Project that involved Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda who have already implemented harmonized voice and SMS charges.

    Currently, calls to Uganda and Rwanda networks cost a flat rate of Sh10 per minute while a call to Burundi will attract Sh30 and Sh25 to Tanzania.

    Sending an SMS in the northern Corridor costs Sh7 whereas sending an SMS to Burundi and Tanzania cost Sh10 and Sh12 respectively.

    The new development will foster economic integration and ease communication among the region’s 146 million people.

    According to the director of licensing, compliance and standards at the Communications Authority of Kenya, Mr Richard Tonui, “the implementation of harmonized EAC will reduce roaming charges for EAC citizens, increase traffic volumes for operators and ultimately foster the integration process.”

    While the roaming charges will reduce, calls to satellite networks (per minute), however, remain uniform at Sh500 to Rwanda, Uganda or Tanzania whereas a call to Burundi costs Sh1,780.

    A deal reached in Arusha Tuesday during the 17th EAC Heads of State Summit, is expected to give the region a one area network that will allow the region flat cross-border call charges.

    Image Credit: Citifmonline