Telkom Kenya has welcomed the Communications Authority’s review of mobile calling rates for local telcos.
The telco said in a statement, this review is quite timely and is a progressive step towards making voice services more affordable and accessible to Kenyans.
‘’Technology solutions: Voice, Data, and Financial services, are now emerging as a daily necessity. With the pandemic, these services are what have kept the global engine moving with a heavier reliance on remote work, online communications, entertainment, as well as virtual transactions.’’ the company.
CA on Wednesday cut the rates commonly known as Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) local mobile phone operators charge each other for interconnecting customers by Sh0.87 or 87.7 percent in what it said is to match shifts in technology that have made mobile telephony more efficient. The regulator cut the rates from from Sh0.99 to Sh0.12.
“The review was founded on the recognition that higher MTRs mean higher calling rates for consumers.” CA director-general Ezra Chiloba said through a press statement.
Telkom says today’s customer demands more competitive and comprehensive products that address their different and ever-changing needs.
‘’At Telkom, we hold firm the conviction that access to Mobile Voice and Data services is a fundamental human right. We continue to develop new and competitively priced products and solutions such as Madaraka Life in response to these customer dynamics and we are putting in even more investment into our digital financial service T-kash and our network infrastructure, consequently enabling more people to access technology services.’’
Globally, Telkom Kenya says 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 says have the potential to negatively impact the consumer if these larger operators are to price discriminate between on-net and off-net calls.
‘’This could lead to the creation of a “club effect” where customers of the larger operators are offered attractive price incentives (that are not affected by the MTRs and FTRs) to stay on the network. Consequently, “new” customers could also feel compelled to join the larger operator’s network, which has a higher number of subscribers, to keep their voice call costs low, due to lower on-net rates compared to the high off-net pricing were they to join an alternative network. This would in the end stifle competition and deny customers of choice. ‘’ it says