Telkom has welcomed the Communications Authority’s (CA) review of the Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs) and Fixed Termination Rates (FTRs) from Ksh. 0.99 to Ksh. 0.12. According to Telkom, the review is timely and is a progressive step towards making voice services more affordable and accessible to Kenyans.

Globally, dominant players in mobile telephony markets have had a pricing advantage due to the imbalance of connecting traffic between themselves and other network operators. Telkom argues that higher MTRs and FTRs also have the potential to negatively impact the consumer if these larger operators are to price discriminate between on-net and off-net calls. This could lead to a situation where customers of the larger operators are offered attractive price incentives to stay on the network.

Consequently, new customers could also feel compelled to join the larger operator’s network, which has a higher number of subscribers, to keep their voice call costs low. This would in the end stifle competition and deny customers of choice.

Telkom has reiterated its commitment hold firm the conviction that access to mobile voice and data services is a fundamental human right. The telco has continued to develop new and competitively priced products and solutions such as Madaraka Life in response to these customer dynamics. The company is putting in even more investment into its digital financial service T-Kash and its network infrastructure, consequently enabling more people to access technology services.

The affordability of handsets remains a challenge to getting more Kenyans connected. Telkom has established a need for further intervention from all concerned regulators with the support of other sector stakeholders to expedite the implementation of policy frameworks.