SADC States Agree On Roaming Charges (allAfrica.com)

NAMIBIA, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed on a pilot project to lower mobile phone roaming charges.

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology last week hosted officials from the four countries in Windhoek to discuss the idea. The meeting was chaired by Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana, permanent secretary of the ministry of information.

The pilot project will commence among all the operators of the four countries by 1 September.

“This will be done on a bilateral basis between the four countries. All mobile operators of the four member states participating in the pilot project should commence making the necessary arrangements to implement the glide path as agreed at the meeting including amending their bilateral roaming agreements,” Cran said.

Cran said the wholesale and retail tariffs will be reduced annually in line with the glide path as approved by the SADC ICT ministers.

“Operators will not be forced to go into reduced tariff agreements with operators in countries that are not participating in the pilot project. However, other member states wishing to participate in the project prior to 1 October are welcome to participate and mobile operators should engage their respective mobile roaming partners to ensure their participation,” Cran said.

“The National Regulators Authorities in the four member states will continually communicate with operators to ensure regulatory stability.”