international call charges Archives


Namibia poses an interesting question. The regulator acts to reduce one of the key costs of providing offnet calls, the mobile termination rate. But the operator holding 85 percent market share refuses to make a corresponding reduction in offnet call charges. Now the regulator has responded by ordering reduction of offnet call charges. Namibia has led SA in cutting call termination rates — the fees the operators charge one another to carry calls between their networks.

Is SAARC real?

Posted on September 17, 2010  /  2 Comments

An organization called RIS (Research and Information System for Developing Countries) invited me to speak at a workshop celebrating 25 years of SAARC. I see nothing to celebrate, but came nevertheless because there is value in cross-fertilization and because it was time to apply some more pressure on changing the absurd international calling prices and roaming charges in the region. It was like being the new kid in the class. These people had been meeting each other for the past 25 years or more and knew each other well. Many warm and fuzzy things were said about what a wonderful thing regional cooperation was.
In August 2008, LIRNEasia made a big push to eliminate the anomaly of intra-SAARC calls that were more expensive than calls to Singapore, UK, USA and other liberalized markets.  This bore fruit in the form of para 6 of the SAARC Summit Declaration: The Heads of State or Government observed that an effective and economical regional tele-communication regime is an essential factor of connectivity, encouraging the growth of people-centric partnerships. They stressed the need for the Member States to endeavour to move towards a uniformly applicable low tariff, for international direct dial calls within the region. While the regulators are cogitating. it appears that the operators are acting.