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Thursday, 24 May 2018

TELCOS RAISE INTERNATIONAL CALL TARIFFS


Dar es Salaam. Callers generally paid more to make international calls during the first quarter of this year compared with what they paid during the fourth quarter of 2017.

According to the quarterly telecoms statistics for March 2018, State-owned TTCL Corporation topped the list after increasing its international tariff to Sh1,294 per minute up from ShSh600 during the last year’s fourth quarter.

The second major increase was by Vodacom Tanzania, which raised its rate to Sh1,458 per minute last March, up from Sh1,090 in December. This was also higher than the Sh1,432 average rate for the quarter.

A report by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) shows that other tariff increases were made by Halotel (from Sh1,330 to Sh1,565 per minute) and Benson (from Sh536 to Sh760).

Tigo and Airtel tariffs for international calls remained at Sh1,258 and Sh1,520 per minute respectively, while Zantel made a slight reduction, dropping to Sh1,040 from Sh1,200 per minute.

In any case, Airtel remains the second most expensive network for international calls, just behind Halotel.

In calling other East African countries, almost a majority of the firms made reductions in their tariffs – with Zantel and Halotel recording the steepest drop for calls to the region.

Zantel reduced its EA tariffs to Sh720 per minute, down from the Sh1,020 recorded during the fourth quarter of last year.

For its part, Halotel reduced its rate to Sh875, from Sh1,033, while TTCL lowered its rate from Sh650 to Sh600 per minute.

Other companies – including Benson, Airtel, Tigo, and Vodacom – made no tariff changes for EA calls during the period under review.

Halotel is the most expensive in this category, charging Sh875 per minute, followed by Airtel (Sh750) and Tigo (Sh739). They all were charging above the average rate of Sh729 per minute.

Then came Zantel (Sh720 per minute), Vodacom (Sh719), TTCL (Sh600) – and Benson, which has the cheapest rate of Sh198 per minute for EA calls.

For local calls, the firms maintained their calling rates during the first quarter of the current year, with Vodacom and Tigo being the most expensive.

To make calls within Vodacom and Tigo networks, subscribers have to pay Sh270 and Sh261 per minute respectively. These rates are still higher than the quarterly weighted average tariff (WAT) of Sh250 per minute.

Halotel is next in line, with its subscribers paying Sh228 a minute, while Airtel and Zantel charge Sh219 and Sh157 per minute respectively.

The report also shows that TTCL and Benson are the cheapest for calls within each network, as their subscribers pay Sh154 and Sh60 per minute, respectively.

The TCRA report further shows that Tigo is rather expensive when it comes to off the network calls. Tigo subscribers pay Sh348 per minute for that – which is higher than the quarterly weighted average tariff of Sh321 per minute.

This was higher than what Airtel and Vodacom charge their customers: Sh330 per minute. But they are above the quarterly weighted average tariff.

Only TCCL (Sh274 per minute), Zantel (Sh249), Halotel (Sh228) and Benson (Sh150) were relatively cheaper.

The Citizen

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