Safaricom and Telkom Kenya’s appeals for higher termination charges have been rejected by the CCK. The termination charges are paid by operators to rivals when subscribers make calls across networks.
Francis Wangusi, the acting director-general of the CCK said that the commission won’t be negotiating the rates. “We are not going to negotiate with any operator to have the rates revised upwards or conduct another study. As a commission we want the rate to go as low as zero shillings so as to increase competition in the sector.”
Wangusi also said: “The interconnection rate does not affect what they charge their subscribers, they can raise the retail tariffs if they want but they fear a rebuttal from their subscribers who can opt for other affordable networks, to me they are simply looking for a reason to justify an increase.”
Nzioka Waita, corporate affairs director at Safaricom thinks that the CCK’s decision to implement a low MTR that doesn’t reflect market costs could cripple the industry. He said: “Artificially low termination rates do not allow operators to fully recover the cost of receiving and terminating calls received from other networks and this significantly impacts the network receiving the largest number of cross-network calls such as Safaricom.”