, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) insists it is ready to lower the Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) by July this year.
The statement comes amid great opposition from the mobile operators, who feel the move by CCK would jeopardise their businesses.
Acting Director Francis Wangusi however argued that lowering termination rates would have no effect on the cost of doing business, saying it only means mobile providers would pay less to the competing networks.
“They are using those gymnastics of doing business, just to try and bring about issues that do not affect their business in any way. Like for example Safaricom, by the last quarter they had a revenue collection of Sh19 billion, and out of that, they are only paying Sh500 million as MTR, which is a very small percentage,” said Wangusi.
Currently, the interconnection fees stand at Sh2.21, following a 50 percent reduction in July 2010 from Sh4.42. The rates were set to come further down in July last year to Shl.44, and follow a glide path that would see them stand at 0.93 cents in 2013.
This has since been frozen by the President through a directive in June last year following intense lobbying from Safaricom and Telkom Kenya.
Earlier on, CCK commissioned a study on termination rates, which is due in June this year to determine whether to lower or retain the rates.
“Our position hasn’t changed on MTRs and as we continue to actively engage with CCK, we believe the right way to handle this issue is to have a cost study, and that position is not new,” said Safaricom CEO as he announced the telecoms’ 2012 results.
Wangusi was speaking during the launch of a web portal for Persons living With Disabilities, which is aimed at enhancing accessibility of information with the use of ICT. The web portal will be designed in a manner that the blind and deaf can be able to access information.
“I have been able to access information from the Internet for the last 12 years. I lost my eyesight at the age of one but I have been able to study just like any other. I finished my PhD last year at the University of Nairobi. This is a very good step by CCK. There are softwares which can help the disabled to access information from this portal, which have many good links, just like any other normal person,” said Dr Reginold Oduro who is a lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
Wangusi has called on the media houses to invest in technologies that will help the disabled especially the blind and the deaf, to access information.