Telkom Kenya last week raised cost of local telephone calls by 16 per cent. In the new tariff structure that comes into effect on November 1, local calls will cost Sh10 per three minutes up from Sh8.60 In a bid to promote trade and communication within the East African Community, the cost of calls to Uganda and Tanzania went down by 25 per cent. Callers to the two countries will now pay Sh30 per minute down from the previous Sh40. Managing Director Sammy Kirui said the high cost of local calls had been justified by current charges that had been subsidised by high cost of international and regional calls. "Elimination of cross-subsidy ensures that long distance and international charges do not cross-subside local services," said Kirui when he announced the new tariffs at Teleposta Plaza, in Nairobi, last week. The company has also introduced international VoIP taiffs ranging from Sh15-30 a minute.

* Many subscribers of the Sierratel network in the capital Freetown were disappointed on Thursday last week to find that their lines were down for the whole of the day,