The East Africa community standardized roaming charges are set to have a positive impact in Tanzania and Burundi leading to a meaningful drop on the charges on telephone calls.
The implementation of this framework for uniform roaming charges among the East Africa Community countries is a matter of priority in the ongoing meeting of the member states in Arusha that started on Tuesday.
The Northern Corridor Integration Project that had involved Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda has resulted to the operation of a standardized voice and SMS charges.
The current phone call charges between the Tanzania and Burundi are Sh 30 and Sh 25 respectively. But the countries in the northern corridor project that is Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have a flat rate of Sh 10 per minute.
The SMS charges go for a flat rate of Sh 7 for the countries in the Northern Corridor and Sh 10 and 12 between Burundi and Tanzania respectively.
The harmonization process is set to be a step forward towards the facilitation of further integration between the member states. The standardization will allow for easy communication of the 146 million people in the region
The stakeholders in the sectors of communication have also seen the potential of harmonization in furthering regional integration.
“The implementation of harmonised EAC will reduce roaming charges for EAC citizens, increase traffic volumes for operators and ultimately foster the integration process,” says Mr Richard Tonui, director of licensing, compliance and standards at the Communications Authority of Kenya.