Kigali — The need to harmonize calling rate in the East African region was emphasized during the last concluded regional telecom meeting held in Kigali Rwanda at Hotel De Mille Collines.
"We need to work with the different telecom companies if we are to realize the One Area Network Project," the Minister of Finance and Economic planning Claver Gatete said while officiating the meeting according to a statement.
This meeting came in at the right time when the 6thsummit on the Northern Corridor projects implementation was running.
The meeting organized by Ministry of Youth and ICT of Rwanda and sponsored by Airtel Rwanda gathered regional telecom companies, ICT ministers, regulators, plus senior officials from the Northern Corridor countries (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan).
Harmonizing calling rates and creating seamless customer experience within the four countries was therefore re-emphasized.
Customers from the different telecom companies have been complaining about the high rates involved while calling people within the East African region saying the rates were far higher than the ones used while calling China, USA or even UK.
This has forced creation of the One Area Network project across the region of East Africa.
Airtel Rwanda's Managing Director Teddy Bhullar said Airtel was in support of the initiative.
"This can be witnessed by our own 'One Network' across the 17 operations that include the East African bloc," he said.
He said Airtel customers across Africa and the East African region were already enjoying free incoming calls and local charges.
Minister of Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana called on other telecoms to work together towards the reality of seamless roaming in the northern corridor.
He hailed Airtel for spearheading this initiative across the region.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology of Uganda John Nasasira called on the regional telecoms to work together which will make the communication milestone a reality.
The need to engage Ministries of ICT hence help the telecom industry develop was also emphasized.
"The telecom industry needs to come together and establish a permanent platform that will be leveraged for proactively engaging with ministries of ICT on matter pertaining to growth of telecom Industry," Cabinet Secretary to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Dr. Fred Matiang'i said.
With such meeting, the telecom industry believes clear roaming rates will be drawn creating satisfaction amongst its clientele.