The Communications Authority has announced new Mobile and Fixed Termination Rates for local telcos.
In December last year, CA cut the rates local mobile phone operators charge each other for interconnecting customers by Sh0.87 or 87.7 per cent in what it said was to match shifts in technology that have made mobile telephony more efficient.
The regulator cut the rates from Ksh0.99 to Ksh 0.12 effective January 1, 2022, a move that did not sit well with Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom. Telkom Kenya however supported the move saying the review was quite timely and was a progressive step towards making voice services more affordable and accessible to Kenyans.
Telkom Kenya said big and dominant players or incumbents in mobile telephony markets have had a pricing advantage due to the imbalance of connecting traffic between themselves and other network operators. Higher MTRs and FTRs it said have the potential to negatively impact the consumer if these larger operators are to price discriminate between on-net and off-net calls.
Safaricom went ahead and filed a case with the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal (CAMAT) opposing the move. Safaricom in its filing said CA did not furnish it with the information, materials, and evidence it relied on in making the decision to reduce the MTR and fixed termination rates (FTRs).
The Telco, Telkom and Airtel however agreed to settle the matter out of court and recorded a consent judgment. The MTRs and FTRs will now be reduced from KSh. 0.99 to KSh. 0.58. This will be a revised interim rate that the CA will bring into effect for a period of 12 months starting August 1, 2022.
Telkom Kenya in a statement said it welcomes this consent judgment as it will have positive outcomes for the customer.
‘’Telkom is also in full support of the ongoing Network Cost Study that has been commissioned by the CA, whose conclusion should lead to the swift implementation of new MTRs and FTRs. ‘’ the telco said in a statement.
‘’At Telkom, we hold firm the conviction that access to Mobile Voice and Data services is a fundamental human right. We will continue to develop new and competitively priced products and solutions such as Madaraka Life and the Changa Bundle in response to these customer dynamics and remain positive that there will be a further downward review of the MTRs and FTRs resulting in even more benefit to the customer.’’ the statement added.