Safaricom slashes roaming charges by 99% in 52 countries

It will also offer a one-off bonus to its shareholders

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bob collymore
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. The telecom firm has slashed roaming charges on both calls and data considerably. PHOTO: TONNY NDUGU/TUKO

Telecommunications giant Safaricom has a nnounced a reduction of roaming charges for both calls and data by up to 99 per cent for more than 200 networks globally.

The firm’s subscribers will now enjoy reduced data roaming rates at Sh14 per MB in more than 52 countries, as well as make calls at reduced costs, the Star reports.

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CEO Bob Collymore said in a statement on Tuesday, July 26, that the new rates were a show of its continuous investment in customer experience.

Safaricom customers roaming on China Mobile will be charged Sh50 to call back home and enjoy a low of Sh10 per minute to call within China, down from Sh360 and Sh130 respectively.

Prices on data will fall to Sh14 per MB while roaming on China Mobile and China Unicom, down from the previous rate of Sh1,900.

The new rates will be available for both PrePay and PostPay customers who will select their network of choice in the destinations that they travel to based on the rates on offer.

“Our continued push to provide more value to customers is underpinned by our continued desire to empower customers so that we retain a relationship based on trust with them,” Collymore said as quoted by the paper.

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But it doesn’t end there as subscribers will also be able to compare roaming costs on different networks in deciding which one to roam on.

Subscribers can check applicable rates for countries they wish to travel to and the preferred roaming networks by visiting www.safaricom.co.ke.

Raised dividends to shareholders

In other news, Safaricom will award shareholders Sh0.68 per share interim dividend. This is an additional dividend over and above the Sh0.76 per share for the year ended March 31.

This move will see the firm spend Sh27.5 billion in a one-off bonus dividend payout to active shareholders as at the close of trading on September 2.

The shareholders will be awarded at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting in September.

Collymore noted that the special interim dividend will be paid out on or before December 1 following a decision of the board.

He said: “There is room for this one-off special dividend of Sh27.5 billion due to the cash position of the company, and the significant retained earnings of Sh82bn.” Adding, “This is an additional dividend to what we expect to recommend at next years AGM for the year ended March 31, 2017.”

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Safaricom has, for the last decade, preferred to retain most of its earnings to fund capital expenditure to grow its network.

The telecom firm now has 25.2 million customers in its roll with earnings in 2016 growing by 14 per cent to Sh186 billion.

Via the Star