Tanzania close to joining One Network Area

Saturday September 26 2015

The East African One Network Area seeks to harmonise voice and data tariffs within the trading bloc. PHOTO | TEA GRAPHIC |

Tanzania is in the final stages of joining the East African One Network Area, which seeks to harmonise voice and data tariffs within the trading bloc.

“We will soon join soon the One Network Area,” the Director General of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority, Dr Ally Yahaya Simba, said. He revealed that roaming charges on voice calls would be the first charges to be harmonised.

At the last EAC Heads of State Summit, the Council of Ministers was directed to expedite the implementation of the framework for harmonised EAC roaming charges, including the removal of surcharges for international telecommunications traffic originating and terminating within the EAC by July 15.

Sources familiar with the harmonisation exercise say that the work failed to beat the July deadline owing to some technicalities, but experts are now working overtime to finalise the migration to the One Network Area platform. Under a tripartite Northern Corridor arrangement, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda rolled out a One Network Area programme and brought down mobile phone roaming services by 60 per cent.

READ: EA to adopt One Network Area, call rates to drop

Major areas of collaboration among Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda included one area the One Network Area, digital migration, broadband strategies, an integrated terrestrial communication fibre network.


Others are the integration of national backbones for harmonised “smart plans,” the East Africa Broadband ICT Infrastructure Network (EAC-BIN), as well as the EAC Medicine Registration Harmonisation project.

READ: EA to leverage on ICT to speed up integration

“Traffic has grown by 935 per cent between Nairobi and Kigali as a result of the omission of roaming charges, and the cost of Internet in Kenya is now one of the lowest in Africa,” said Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communications Technology Dr Fred Matiang’i.

His Rwandan counterpart Jean Nsengimana said 99 per cent of his government’s transactions would be automated come 2018.