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MTN Rwanda cuts roaming costs

MTN Rwanda cuts roaming costs.

Mobile operator MTN Rwanda plans to reduce roaming costs in line with the ‘East Africa One Network Area’ agreement.

The agreement is a regional framework among East African nations -- namely Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan -- that aims to reduce roaming charges, make services more affordable and improve regional connectivity.

And in a statement, MTN says lowering roaming charges is aimed at empowering its customers to connect with business associates, family and friends at discounted rates.

MTN is Rwanda's leading mobile operator with more than 3 million subscribers, according to the telco's quarterly data.

The new roaming charges as per the One Network Area concept will start with calls to Kenya.

MTN says its customers roaming on all networks in Kenya, both prepaid and postpaid, will now be charged 68 Rwf from the previous rate of 178 Rwf.

Calling Kenya is now at 60 Rwf per minute from 122 Rwf. Receiving calls was 51 Rwf and is now free, the statement reveals.   

"We are committed to provide affordable communications services to all our customers," said Robert Rwakabogo, MTN marketing operations senior manager.

"Roaming charges which have always been a hindrance for many within the East African region will now drastically go down, which we expect to stimulate growth in the telecommunications sector,” he said.

But plans to lower calling rates throughout East Africa have taken a knock this month as Kenya's largest mobile operator Safaricom suffered a major blow in its bid to lower roaming rates with Rwanda.

Safaricom had previously released a press statement saying that as of October 1 its customers visiting Rwanda can make calls to Rwanda's networks at Kshs. 10, "which is a 43% drop from the initial rate of Kshs. 17.50 per min".

However, Safaricom had to retract its statement after the Rwandan government announced the introduction of additional levies on international calling and roaming tariffs with Kenya.

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