8 January 2013

Tanzania: TCRA Postpones Interconnection Rates Meetings

PUBLIC hearings on cost-based interconnection rates for telecommunications network operators in the country have been pushed to February, this year, instead of this month as earlier announced.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Prof John Nkoma, told the 'Daily News' over the weekend that the move has been reached so as to give stakeholders more time to discuss them.

Earlier, TCRA announced it would conduct an inquiry to review the cost-based interconnection rates as applied by eight communication network operators and called for the stakeholders to forward their views by mid this month.

"Yes, we have postponed by one more month since we have come to realize some procedures needed to be fulfilled first," he said. The network operators are Airtel Tanzania Ltd, Benson Informatics Limited, Dovetel Tanzania Limited, MIC Tanzania Limited and Six Telecoms Company Ltd.

Others are Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited, Vodacom (T) Limited and Zanzibar Telecom Limited (Zantel). The cost-based interconnection rates result from the determination number two issued in 2007 on cost-based interconnection rates, to be applied among the telecommunication networks operators.

The proposed glide path for interconnection rates with effect from March, this year to December 31, 2017 are pegged at 34.92/- voice call termination rates come March 2013, 32.40/- January next year, 30.58 by January 2015, 28.57 January 20116 and 26.96/- the following year.

Currently, the rates stand at 7.12/- until January, last year which were applied for five years consecutively since January 2008 at a rate of 7.83/-, 7.65/-, 7.49/- and 7.32/- respectively.

Meanwhile, TCRA has announced ceiling transmission fee for Multiplex Operators (MUX) chargeable to Content Service Providers effective January 1st, this year.

"The ceiling transmission fee for MUX chargeable to CSPs as cost of carriage of one digital television programme (content channel) per transmission site per month should be equivalent of 3,800 US dollars," reads the TCRA statement.

According to the statement, the fee would be reviewed annually taking into account the multiplicity of content channels, sharing of infrastructure and value added services. Licensed MUX so far are Star Media (T) Limited, Agape Associates Limited and Basic Transmissions Limited.

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