According to a report via TelecomPaper… Namibia, Bostwana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed to a pilot project to lower mobile phone roaming charges.
The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology hosted officials from the four countries in Windhoek to discuss the idea The report reveals that the estimated date that the pilot project will commence is by 01 September, 2015.
The report states that all mobile operators of the four member states should commence making the necessary arrangements to implement the glide path as agreed at the meeting, including amending their roaming agreements, Cran said. The industry regulator said the wholesale and retail tariffs will be reduced annually in line with the glide path approved by ICT ministers from southern Africa.
CRAN, according to the report, said the operators will not be forced to go into reduced tariff agreements with operators in countries that are not participating in the pilot project. However, other member states wishing to participate in the project prior to 01 October are welcome to do so, and mobile operators should engage their respective mobile roaming partners to ensure their participation.
According to CRAN, the National Regulators Authorities in the four member states will continually communicate with operators to ensure regulatory stability. A recommendation will be made to the Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) that a regional clearing house be established to ensure lower roaming costs in the region.
CRAN also said that the utilisation of existing direct links between member states should be addressed at policy level to ensure a further reduction in costs and to avoid routing regional traffic via international carriers or agents.