NAIROBI, July 17 (Xinhua) — Plans to harmonize East Africa mobile tariffs to create a single mobile network face hurdles as some nations fear that their telecoms could suffer losses, officials said on Monday.
Communication Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi told Xinhua in Nairobi that once a country is not sure of the consequences of the one area network, it needs to be conscious not to find itself making a mistake. Wangusi said that one of the things hindering the adoption of the single network is the fear of illegal termination of international traffic purporting to be local calls. “We are already experiencing cases where calls from outside East African Community (EAC) are being illegally terminated locally and then relayed as a local calls and this is denying revenues to local telecoms,” he added. The one area network was introduced in 2014, but so far only Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan have joined the single network.
Other EAC member states such as Burundi and Tanzania are not yet part of the network that seeks to ensure that all intra-EAC calls are treated as local calls. The regulator is seeking to purchase a device management system to monitor its network so as to prevent the illegal termination of internationals and raise the credibility of the single network. Wangusi said that EAC partner states are set to have a meeting towards the end of month in order to discuss ways to overcome the challenges.