Back in 2014, an agreement called One Network was signed by East Africa’s Heads of States. On the whole, the agreement, which went live in 2015, required mobile operators in member states to deploy programs that were to see a significant drop in roaming fees. Kenya’s top carrier Safaricom was the first to swing into action, and travellers to countries such as Rwanda saw a 60 percent drop in calls back home. Airtel did the same thing in Uganda and Tanzania.
It has been more than three years since One Network was launched, and a lot of developments have taken place across Kenyan carriers. These gains have been put in place to dispel obvious burdens that customers experience once they travel overseas, which include ridiculous roaming charges that do not favour seamless conduction of business.
Telkom Kenya has been on the forefront in ensuring that their customers are not slapped with high roaming bills while traversing the East African region for business or pleasure. Dubbed Mashariki Roaming Bundle, the product is part of Kenya’s third largest telco mandate that is purposely put in place to encourage users to reach family and friends sans incurring high bills.
While Mshariki Roaming Bundle is limited to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, it offers admirable rates for people who make a lot phone calls or send text messages.
The bundle has two choices; Mashariki KES 500, which includes 65 Mins and 130 SMS and Mashariki KES 1000 that is packaged with 130 mins plus 260 minutes.
Notably, data is missing in the two bundles, which is a let down for Telkom users who, as statistics have shown, use data services more than voice. Secondly, the product is restricted to prepaid customers. As mentioned, the bundle can only be used while roaming in Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan (Tanzania and Rwanda are missing) and for traffic destined only to within visited country (Local), Kenya (calling back home), Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.