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Safaricom signs deal with Vodacom SA

NAIROBI, December 1 – Safaricom has launched a preferential roaming tariff rate for subscribers travelling to South Africa.

The new deal with Vodacom South Africa will see both prepaid and post paid subscribers making calls between the two countries for Sh30 per minute, a 25 percent reduction on the previous rates.

“The preferential tariff rate will make it cheaper and convenient for our subscribers who frequently travel to South Africa to communicate freely within South Africa as well as with their fellow Kenyans back home. Safaricom Post Pay subscribers will also no longer need to pay roaming deposit to enjoy this service on Vodacom network in South Africa,” Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said in a statement on Monday.

“The partnership between Safaricom and Vodacom South Africa is very strategic considering that South Africa will host the largest football extravaganza, the 2010 World Cup in the next 19 months,” he added.

In September, Safaricom announced that it had enhanced the Kama Kawaida service by introducing a Prepay Regional Top Up solution in partnership with leading mobile service providers in the East African region.

The solution allows subscribers to top up with partner networks’ scratch cards, when travelling within the East Africa region.

Subscribers travelling within Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, and using the partner networks’ benefit by being charged their home tariff rates, and are able to use the respective partner network scratch cards to top up.

The service was launched in partnership with Vodacom Tanzania, MTN and UTL Uganda, and MTN Rwanda.

Vodacom is the leading cellular network in South Africa with an estimated market share of 58 percent and more than 23 million customers. Vodacom was also the first provider to deploy a 3G (third generation) or UMTS network in South Africa and is also offering HSDPA.

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Other network operators in the South African market include MTN and Cell C. Virgin Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator.

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