Kenya: Airtel Kenya Follows Safaricom in Reducing Rwanda Roaming Rates

Airtel Kenya has joined Safaricom in reviewing its roaming tariffs in Rwanda by announcing a reduction of call rates by 60 per cent and free incoming calls for its postpaid and prepaid customers roaming to Rwanda.

Airtel Kenya will offer affordable voice rates where outgoing calls while roaming in Rwanda will now be charged at Kshs 10 per minute down from Kshs 25 per minute, the same rates currently charged by rival Safaricom after it announced a similar review few days ago.

Safaricom’s reduction had to be briefly suspended after the Rwanda government increased the country’s roaming tariffs but the issue has since been resolved.

The new rates apply to customers making calls from Kenya to Rwanda and customers making calls from Rwanda to Kenya. This represents a 60 per cent reduction of the charges for call rates for roamers in Rwanda on Airtel network.

Airtel Kenya prepaid customers roaming in Rwanda will enjoy a one of its kind unique benefit and convenience of being be able to 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, Adil El Youssefi, CEO, Airtel Kenya said that Airtel is delighted to have taken the lead yet again in offering the best value proposition, convenience and seamless communication anywhere between the two countries. He emphasized that this is the start of other customer benefits based on Airtel unique Africa footprint.

El Youssefi noted that, “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.

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