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Friday, 18 September 2009

Towards cheaper international calls?

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.

5 comments:

  1. I can't believe that Zain and MTN can't afford 12 million a year. Well we'll see how much tariffs go down. It would be cool if Zain's one network could happen.

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  2. The $12m was just symbolic.

    The real issue was that govt didn't want to give them a license to have their own gateway. Even if they could afford it, they were not going to get it.

    Now that the political position has changed, it also makes sense reduce the fee levels.

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  3. Indeed, good news for the consumer, and obviously a step closer to Zain's One Network.

    However, there hasn't been much of a response to Zain's One Network by its competitors on the continent and Zain is reported to have been feeling the financial squeeze, what with their ambitious spending on expansion. The likes of MTN seem to have no appetite for an all out price war. As much as the One Network concept is fantastic for the consumer, the jury is still out on how to make money from it.

    In Europe, Vodafone (UK) did away with roaming charges for the summer. Between June and August, Vodafone prepay and postpay customers were able to call, text and send picture messages to the UK from over 35 EU countries (plus Australia and New Zealand) for the same price as if they were in the UK. I figured this would have triggered a reaction from competitors, but it didn't!

    The recession has taken its toll on the UK mobile market and already there are signs of a few operators struggling such as T-Mobile and 3. Hence, network consolidation is now on the table as we recently heard about a merger between T-Mobile and Orange UK.

    This concept presents good value for share holders, in that lower operational costs are envisaged. Consumers are also likely to gain from greater coverage resulting from the two merged networks. However, there're concerns about reduced choice for consumers.

    I'd like to think that the sooner Africans begin thinking about network sharing and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) the better.

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  4. "Zain expects reduced international tarrifs"
    Really!!
    I thought they should have started by offering the cheapest local usage, the difference right now is insignificant to say the least-
    Zain to Zain K21 K12
    Zain to other networks in Zambia K41 K28
    Friends and Family K19 K10

    vs
    Cell Z - Cell Z 22.00 13.00
    Cell Z - PSTN 22.00 13.00
    Family & Friends 15.00 10.00
    Cell Z - Others 22.00 20.00

    I can bet $ 50 to any wedger ,the difference will be minimal.....

    Mobile phone companies around the world are investor magnets with portfolios listed on international markets hence the frequent changes to Zain ownership in last 5 years. The investors are seeking the highest returns possible-
    so it may wise to taint expectations with caution.

    Below are international calling rates for America's biggest mobile providers see if their rates are any cheaper-
    Verizon
    International Basic Calling Rates
    Per-minute rates.
    Country Per Minute Rate China $4.98
    Germany $2.40
    Hong Kong $3.55
    Japan $2.88
    Singapore $3.20
    Taiwan $3.79 United Kingdom $2.16
    And

    AT & T -
    International Dial Standard Rates
    Afghanistan 93 $3.49 $3.52
    Albania 355 $2.29 $2.48
    Algeria 213 $2.69 $2.76
    American Samoa 684 $3.49 $3.49
    Andorra 376 $1.49 $1.81
    Angola 244 $2.69 $2.7
    Bahrain 973 $2.69 $2.72
    Bangladesh 880 $3.49 $3.54
    Botswana 267 $2.69 $2.77
    Brazil 55 $2.19 $2.40
    British Virgin Islands 1 plus 284 $1.49 $1.58
    Brunei 673 $3.49 $3.52
    Bulgaria 359 $2.29 $2.60
    Burkina Faso 226 $2.69 $2.76
    Burundi 257 $2.69 $2.69
    Cambodia 855 $3.49 $3.55
    Cameroon 237 $2.69 $2.81
    Central African Republic 236 $2.71 $2.71
    Chad 235 $2.72 $2.72
    Chile 56 $2.19 $2.37
    China 86 $3.49 $3.52
    Colombia 57 $2.19 $2.28
    Comoros 269 $4.59 $4.63
    Congo, Democratic Republic of the 243 $2.69 $2.69
    Congo, Republic of the 242 $2.69 $2.69
    Cook Islands 682 $4.90 $4.90
    Costa Rica 506 $2.19 $2.23
    Croatia 385 $2.29 $2.47
    Cuba 53 $1.79 $1.79
    Cyprus 357 $2.69 $2.74
    Czech Republic 420 $2.29 $2.48
    Denmark 45 $1.49 $1.65
    Diego Garcia 246 $6.49 $6.49
    Eritrea 291 $2.69 $2.69
    Germany 49 $1.49 $1.66
    Ghana 233 $2.69 $2.78
    Gibraltar 350 $1.49 $1.69
    Greece 30 $2.29 $2.48
    Greenland 299 $1.49 $1.64
    Grenada 1 plus 473 $1.49 $1.59
    Guadeloupe 590 $1.49 $1.77
    Guatemala 502 $2.19 $2.23
    Guinea 224 $2.69 $2.72
    Guinea-Bissau 245 $2.69 $2.69
    Guyana 592 $2.19 $2.19
    Haiti 509 $1.49 $1.58
    Honduras 504 $2.19 $2.24
    Hong Kong 852 $3.49 $3.52
    Japan 81 $3.49 $3.64
    Jordan 962 $2.69 $2.77
    Kazakhstan 7 $2.29 $2.38
    Kenya 254 $2.69 $2.78
    Kiribati 686 $4.85 $4.85
    Korea, North 850 $3.49 $3.49
    Korea, South 82 $3.49 $3.55
    Kuwait 965 $2.69 $2.73
    Kyrgyzstan 996 $2.29 $2.29
    Laos 856 $3.49 $3.49
    Latvia 371 $2.29 $2.45
    Lebanon 961 $2.69 $2.79
    Lesotho 266 $2.69 $2.75
    Liberia 231 $2.69 $2.69
    Libya 218 $2.69 $2.74
    Liechtenstein 423 $1.49 $2.02
    Lithuania 370 $2.29 $2.42
    Luxembourg 352 $1.49 $1.66
    Macau 853 $3.49 $3.49
    Macedonia 389 $2.29 $2.52
    Madagascar 261 $2.90 $3.02
    Malawi 265 $2.69 $2.72
    Malaysia 60 $3.49 $3.53
    Maldives 960 $3.49 $3.49

    Niger 227 $2.69 $2.69
    Nigeria 234 $2.69 $2.76
    Niue 683 $4.90 $4.90
    Norway 47 $1.49 $1.70
    Oman 968 $2.69 $2.72
    Pakistan 92 $3.49 $3.52
    Palau 680 $3.49 $3.49
    Palestinian Authority 970 $2.69 $2.72
    Panama 507 $2.19 $2.28
    Papua New Guinea 675 $3.99 $3.99
    Paraguay 595 $2.19 $2.33
    Peru 51 $2.19 $2.38
    Philippines 63 $3.49 $3.51
    P
    SAT - Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean) 872 $11.49 $11.49
    SAT - Inmarsat SNAC 870 $11.49 $11.49
    SAT - Thuraya Satellite 882 $11.49 $11.49
    Saudi Arabia 966 $2.69 $2.76
    Yemen 967 $2.69 $2.72
    Zambia 260 $2.69 $2.80
    Zimbabwe 263 $2.69 $2.98

    These rates are for calling from USA.
    Zamtel charges $ 2.55 per minutes to the UK.

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  5. Hey I'm a Kenyan living in the US and I use my Tracfone for international calls. Most countries can be called from a Tracfone for the same rate as a local call ie 1 airtime minute per minute called. Cheaper that At&T or Verison...

    ReplyDelete

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