Tanzania - Regulator slashes call costs by 70pc

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has reduced call interconnection rates by 69 per cent – this will translate into a reduction to Sh34.92 from the previous Sh113.

The reduction of rates means that customers will no longer need to own several SIM cards or carry two handsets as they strive to cut cross-network call costs.

With high interconnection rates, it is only four per cent of Tanzanians who use off net calls, according to TCRA director general, Prof John Nkoma, as majority prefer on-net calls (calling within the network) as they avoid exorbitant charges associated with calling a different network.

Prof Nkoma told journalists and representatives from telecommunication firms in Dar es Salaam yesterday, that all telecommunication companies would be supposed to consent to the new interconnection rates by March 31, this year, even though the rates will start being applied as early as March 1, this year.

“Taking into account that telecommunication sector is very competitive in the market, we gave them freedom to make decision on the amount they would like to interconnect, but they failed. This made the authority to consult PricewaterhouseCoopers

“We intervene where we see market failure, especially when telecom companies fail to reach agreement on the interconnection rates,” said Prof Nkoma

From March 1, 2013, Prof Nkoma said interconnection rates from one network to another will be Sh34.92, January 1, 2014 (Sh32.40), January 1, 2015 (Sh30.58), January 1, 2016 (Sh28.57) and January 1, 2017 (Sh26.96).

“These are directive interconnection rates, telecommunication companies are free to lower it even to zero, and, TCRA will be ready to make some reviews where necessary and upon justified reasons of doing so,” said Prof Nkoma.