John Nkoma (in2eastafrica.net)
The hearings, which were due to take place this month after the expiry of the five-year glide path launched in December 2007, have now been pushed to February so that procedures requiring industry stake-holders to submit their views in advance may be properly adhered to.
“Yes, we have postponed by one more month since we have come to realise some procedures needed to be fulfilled first,” Professor John Nkoma, Director General of the TCRA, told Tanzania’s Daily News.
The glide path being proposed will bring interconnection rates down in the East African country over the space of four years up until December 31, 2017, and if implemented will have effect from March 2013, when voice call termination rates would be set at US$34.92.
As at January 2014, the glide path stipulates a drop in rates to TZS32.40, to be decreased further in January 2015 to TZS30.58. January 2016 would see voice termination rates fall to TZS28.57, while in the final year rates would be set at TZS26.96, awaiting a potential further determination.
However, the proposed interconnection rates are a significant increase on current rates, with the last phase of the glide path implemented in December 2007 effective as of January 2012 stipulating rates set at TZS7.12. This glide path – set out in Determination 2 of 2007, has now expired, hence necessitating the new determination of interconnection rates.
Given the large initial increase in the proposed rates, the TCRA has decided to push back the public hearings in order to allow stakeholders to tender their opinions.
The eight main stakeholders being invited to provide submissions are Airtel Tanzania, Vodacom, Tanzania Telecommunications Company, Benson Informatics, Dovetel Tanzania, MIC Tanzania, Six Telecoms Company, and Zanzibar Telecom.