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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Airtel supports the review of Interconnection Rates

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Airtel has commended the CA for this timely determination on MTR and FTR and supports the directive, which will greatly benefit the Kenyan consumer.

In a statement, the telco said this move by CA will enable Kenyans to call more across networks with ease and with little worry of how much they will spend given the vital role of communication, especially in the current tough economic times occasioned by the pandemic.

Customers will also get to benefit from better services as Telcos will now have more money to invest into their infrastructure and networks, as opposed to using the same money to pay high interconnection fees.

The Communications Authority of Kenya, CA., recently moved to reduce the MTR and FTR from the current rate of Kshs.0.99 per minute to Kshs.0.12 per minute in the exercise of its statutory mandate, under the Kenya Communications Act.

The MTR of Kshs.0.99 per minute has been applied for about seven years whereas it was only intended to apply for one year. The MTR reduction by the CA considers the seven-year delay and is fully aligned with the interests of the consumer.

Interconnection enables customers to seamlessly call each other across networks. Without interconnection, users would be forced to obtain mobile or fixed numbers from one network. When Mobile Termination Rates remain high as they have been in Kenya, consumers would have to pay more for voice calls and have less freedom of choice. 

This reduction will also increase mobile penetration in Kenya and enhance access to voice and data services to support the Government’s broadband strategy and better position Kenya as a regional ICT Hub. We believe that any attempt to delay or scuttle the implementation of the MTR will deny consumers the benefits of more affordable calling prices.

This benefit to consumers needs to be protected considering that high Mobile Termination Rates are not meant to be a revenue source for Mobile or Fixed voice service providers but an enabler for seamless calling which improves consumer access to communication.

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