ZAIN plans to move swiftly to have a separate international gateway as soon as Government lifts reduces the tariffs next year.
Zain predicts call tariff reduction (Daily Mail, 16 September 2009)
ZAIN Zambia says it expects international call tariffs to reduce considerably once Government reduces international gateway charges by the end of this year.
Company marketing manager Evans Muhanga said currently, subscribers are paying more on international calls for all players in the mobile telecommunication sector because of high international gateway fees priced at US$12 million.
Mr Muhanga said Government’s decision to reduce international gateway charges to regional levels is welcome as it is what the company has always lobbied for.
“We have always wanted to have our own gateway; so this is a welcome development for us. Once charges are reduced, it’s really the customers who are going to benefit,” he said.
Mr Muhanga said in an interview in Lusaka at the weekend that the connectivity, quality and service will be improved once fees are reduced.
He said, “So, when we have our own international gateway, definitely, we will reduce call tariffs. There is a lot of quality enhancement and more traffic in terms of destination,” he said.
The firm has since been launching products including the international roaming service to get the platform ready for the international gateway.
Last week, Government said it will reduce international telecommunications gateway fees to regional averages by the end of 2009.
Secretary to the Treasury Likolo Ndalamei said this measure is expected to create significant growth potential for the telecommunications industry, improve service quality and reduce the cost of doing business.
The World Bank and the private mobile service providers, including Zain and MTN, have previously complained that Zambia’s international gateway fees are too high.
Zain and MTN have been urging the government to reduce fees and liberalise the international gateway to reduce the high cost of communication and the cost of doing business in Zambia.
Zambia’s international gateway fee of US$12 million is currently the highest in the eastern and southern Africa region, and has been cited as a barrier to reducing the cost of doing business.