Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kenya - roaming rates

Safaricom ups its roaming services in the region

Safaricom has enhanced its roaming services for its customers in the East African region.

The company has introduced its PrePay roaming top up service in partnership with other leading networks in the East African region, which will allow users to top-up using airtime from partner networks in whichever country they are in.

Previously, customers roaming within the region had to purchase phone credit from Safaricom dealers in order to re-charge their accounts.

With the new move, users will be able to purchase credit from either Vodacom Tanzania or UTL in Uganda and use it regardless where they are.

Subscribers will not be charged roaming fees and will use their home service as usual without having to buy bulk amounts of credit or switching tariffs while in another country.

Regional service
“The calls are not charged as roaming calls. Subscribers travel with their home tariff hence they know exactly how they are charged when they travel.

When in Tanzania, subscribers can top up with Vodacom scratch cards and in Uganda they can top up with MTN and UTL scratch cards,” said Michael Joseph, the firms CEO.

Safaricom launched its regional roaming service, dubbed Kama Kawaida, in February 2007. The service allows Safaricom, Vodacom Tanzania, and MTN Uganda customers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania the opportunity to move freely across the three countries as they would on their home network.

Two units
In October 2007, the service expanded into Rwanda through a partnership with MTN Rwanda.

Meanwhile, Safaricom’s parent company Vodafone, announced that its Kenyan operation will now fall under the Central Europe/Africa grouping.

The move, expected to take place in January next year, will see the current union that links Europe, Asia and Africa split into two units covering Central Europe/Africa and Asia/Pacific. The company said new CEOs to head the divisions will be selected in due course.

In addition to several high level managerial changes mostly taking place in its European divisions, Vodafone announced that it will also be de - linking its investment in Verizon Wireless, which will not be part of any operating region.

In light of its financial and strategic importance, Verizon will be managed directly at a senior level by Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao.

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