Celtel ends East African roaming charges

Emerging-markets GSM operator Celtel has said it will no longer levy roaming charges on its subscribers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the member states of the East African Community. EAC subscribers will now be able to use their phones anywhere within the three states at their usual rates.

Celtel is a leading user of SMS airtime credit transfer for its prepaid customers, many of whom use it as a means of sending money securely and instantly. With a single tariff for the whole area, this use of airtime as currency may now be extended to three nations with their own currencies.

Celtel certainly seems to think so. Gerhard May, who heads its Kenyan operation, is quoted as saying “our subscribers in East Africa are now one network-a specific home network does not exist.” Celtel reportedly intends to end roaming charges between all 14 of its African networks, which serve some 15 million subscribers.


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