Safaricom nicks roaming charges for 21 countries - CNBC Africa

Safaricom nicks roaming charges for 21 countries

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Kenya’s largest telecommunication company Safaricom has slashed roaming networks for over 20 networks.

Through its affiliates in countries like Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, United Kingdom, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, the Nairobi Securities Exchange listed firm was able to secure roaming agreements consequently lowering roaming rates.

For as little as 200 Kenya shillings, which is equivalent two dollars and 22 cents, subscribers will be able to access up to 10 minutes of voice services, 10 SMS, and 10MBs of data in 21 countries in North and Central Africa, Europe and New Zealand.

“We always place the needs of our customers at the forefront of our business. We have aggressively lobbied countries and our partners to ensure our subscribers can enjoy the same reliable communication services they have come to know in Kenya when they travel at significantly reduced rates,” said Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom in a press release.

(READ MORE: Safaricom signs security contract with Kenya's government)

The announcement comes after the firm reduced its roaming charges in Rwanda. Safaricom customers visiting Rwanda can make calls to Rwandan networks at 10 Kenya shillings, a 60 per cent drop from the initial rate of 25 Kenya shillings per minute.

However, last year, the firm's plans were thwarted by the Rwandan government after the introduction of new levies on international calling and roaming tariffs. Nonetheless, cabinet ministers later corrected the stand.

This move has taken the East African Community (EAC) a step forward from an initiative by the five country member state to slash cross-border call rates in the region this year.

The One Network Area initiative by the East African Community Heads of State envisages the reduction of International and Roaming tariffs reduced to lower costs of doing business as well as deepening social integration in the region.

The telco is also looking to slash roaming charges in neighbouring countries Uganda and Tanzania in the near future once agreements are meet.