Tanzania will soon join the One Area Network, which seeks to homogenize and reduce tariffs on international phone calls within members of the EAC to support the region’s economic growth.
The announcement was done by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Dr. Ally Yahaya Simba, whom in a courtesy call to EAC Secretary General, Dr. Richard Sezibera, explained that the TCRA is just finishing with the revision of the sector’s policies and regulations to come into effect.
The initiative was launched in 2014 by EAC members Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda which have already adopted the One Area Network and seen their roaming charges on voice calls cut by 60.0% according to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).
The reduction in tariffs is product of the initiative’s agreement which mandates exempt of charge for roaming incoming calls while charging the local tariffs when a user is dialing an international or local phone call from abroad and within the EAC.
As explained by Dr. Sezibera, the initiative is part of a four main areas plan where the EAC is aiming at to drive integration progress and growth, namely communications, civil aviation, one stop borders, and private sector integration.
The reduction in tariffs plus other factors as cheap smartphones and extended internet coverage from member countries will support a growth over 5.0% in the region’s communications sector, according to Old Mutual Securities.
Tanzania expects a substantial reduction on voice calls roaming tariffs from an average of USD 0.97 per minute to about USD 0.11 per minute, which is the new average roaming tariff that Kenya got after the country joined One Area Network last year according to CA.