After MTN Rwanda announced a move to reduce tarrifs Airtel has today announced a reduction of call rates by 60% and free incoming calls for Airtel Kenya’s postpaid and prepaid customers roaming to Rwanda.
Airtel Kenya outgoing calls while roaming in Rwanda will be Ksh10 per minute down from Ksh25 per minute. The new rates apply to customers making calls from Kenya to Rwanda and customers making calls from Rwanda to Kenya. This represents a 60% reduction of the charges for call rates for roamers in Rwanda on Airtel network.
Airtel Kenya prepaid customers roaming in Rwanda can also top-up their prepaid SIM cards with locally purchased scratch cards, which can be purchased at any Airtel Rwanda points of sale and top up by simply dialling “138*Voucher-PIN” and press the OK button. For prepaid customers, the roaming service is automatically activated when crossing into Airtel Rwanda network, with no prior registration required or sign-up fee charged. The new offers on Airtel’s One Network will enable customers to be treated as local customers when they travel.
While making the announcement, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said, “Regional mobility is a critical factor in increasing trade and cross-border economic cooperation, which is a priority in the East African region and beyond. At Airtel, our intention is to continue increasing connectivity and making communication more affordable for subscribers, encouraging greater adoption and usage of mobile services and enabling important socio-economic benefits. Airtel remains committed to deliver more affordable roaming prices and better value for consumer traveling or doing business in Rwanda and beyond.”
The changes in the tariffs have been made possible as result of an agreement by the heads of state of three East African countries which include Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to reduce cross-border calling rates by 60 percent, as part of efforts to enhance regional integration. The new guidelines are expected to improve communication and stimulate growth in the telecommunications sector, which has in the recent past become an important contributor to member countries’ gross domestic product.
Kenya’s Safaricom was the first to pull such a move but faced challenges and announced it had backed-off cutting it’s tarrifs as earlier announced. With agreement reached this tarrif cuts will make seamless communication anywhere between the two countries and benefit both business people and tourists from both countries.