Callers in Kenya will enjoy cheaper inter-network call rates from January 1 2022 after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) capped the costs which operators charge to connect and terminate calls on their networks passed on to the consumer. The authority capped the rates at Kshs 0.12 per minute, down from the current Kshs 0.99 per minute, a move which will make internetwork calls more affordable.
According to Director Ezra Chiloba, consumers will now access affordable calls across network without switching across to different operators while operators will have more price flexibility when developing products.
“At the retail level, consumers will now enjoy access to a variety of affordable services across networks and at the wholesale level, operators will have more price flexibility when developing innovative and affordable products”Director General Ezra Chiloba
Operators’ Response to CA’s Move
Operators across the board welcomed the review that is long overdue. However, Safaricom recommended that the authority adopt a cost modelling approach as opposed to international benchmarking to determine termination rates. Further, Airtel proposes that the regulator consider asymetric rates where smaller players pay 50% less than the largest operator as a tool to correct imbalance in competition and bring relief to smaller operators.
Nevertheless, the new rates shall only apply to local voice traffic, calls originating and terminating within Kenya. Further, operators have the liberty to negotiate interconnection rates below the Kshs 0.12 cap. The authority.