CCK remains mum on mobile termination rates

September 28, 2012
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“The matter is still under consideration by the board, but soon the board will make a decision,” he said/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 28 – A decision on a suitable rate on the controversial Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) will take a little longer to be made, after the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) board failed to come to an agreement on Thursday.

Industry players were expecting an announcement on the new rate on Thursday, but CCK Director General Francis Wangusi says the meeting was to brief the board on the progress made by Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) on the cost study.

“The matter is still under consideration by the board, but soon the board will make a decision,” he said.

The government think-tank was to conduct a study on the impact of a lower MTR on the economy and the operator’s finances.

Safaricom and Telkom Orange have been on one side of the divide opposing a further reduction of the MTR currently at Sh2.21, while Airtel and yuMobile support a decrease in the rate to Sh1.44 that was to take effect in July this year, according to the glide path set by the CCK.

Meanwhile, in the run up to the general elections CCK along with other stakeholders are finalising guidelines to curb the use of bulk SMS to disseminate hate speech.

“We are trying to finalise the drafts and we are going to promulgate them by early next month,” Wangusi said.

In the guidelines mobile operators will be responsible for filtering messages being transmitted through their networks and turn down any content inciting or discriminatory.

In June, Safaricom announced tough new guidelines aimed at reining in negative political messages ahead of the general election.

The guidelines apply to all licensed content service providers seeking to communicate political messages to the electorate on behalf of politicians through the use of various messaging services provided by Safaricom, including SMS.

In the new guidelines, Safaricom will vet political messages to ensure that hate speech is not spread through its SMS platform.

According to Safaricom, they will only disseminate political messages communicated in English or Kiswahili that focus on party manifestos and discard what dwells on unnecessary attacks on individuals or tribe.

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