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[March 07, 2014]
TCRA to Collect More From Global Calls After Five Years
(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) REVENUES from incoming international calls are set to increase in five years' time when the operator of the newly-installed Telecoms Traffic Monitoring System (TTMS), SGC/GVG of Switzerland, transfers the system to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).
The Swiss company built the equipment through the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model in which it entered into a five-year contract with the communications regulator.
"Under the agreement, the Swiss company will operate the equipment and transfer it to TCRA after five years," TCRA's Head Corporate Communications Innocent Mungy told the 'Daily News' on Thursday.
Through the agreement, SGC/GVG will be pocketing 20 per cent (US five cents which is about 80/-) of 25 US cents (about 400/-) per second that will be charged on incoming international calls for the next five years and finally hands it to TCRA.
The local mobile operators will receive 52 per cent (13 US cents which is about 208/-) while 28 per cent (7 US cents which is about 112/-) will be remitted to the government coffers.
This means that after five years, part of the 80/- per second (five US cents) will be used to run the system and the remaining amount channeled to the government.
Implementation of the new system that will enable the government collect one million US dollars (about 1.6bn/-) every month will enable the government collect 12 million US dollars (about 19.2bn/-) per annum.
"Before the system local mobile operators were paid by their foreign counterparts just eight US cents (about 128/-) for incoming international calls of which the government did not receive anything," Mr Mungy said in a telephone interview.
He added: "We had to engage the international mobile operators through negotiations and they agreed to increase the amount to 25 US cents of which the government will also receive revenues".
At present, a total of two million US dollars (about 3.2bn/-) has already been remitted to the treasury being revenues for December and November, last year, according to TCRA Director General, Prof John Nkoma.
Launching the equipment last week, President Jakaya Kikwete hailed TCRA for the idea, which he noted will enable the government to collect more revenues from the telecom sector.
The equipment will also be used to monitor transactions made through mobile money transfer services and as a result make it possible for the government to collect requisite taxes.
Apart from monitoring revenues, the TTMS will also be used for fraud management, revaluation of international termination rates and detection of equipment identification details as well as checking quality of services offered by service providers.
Between 2009 and this year, costs of making phone calls locally have decreased by 57 per cent while those for internet have dropped by 75 per cent and this has attracted more users for the services, thanks to the 7,560 km of national fibre optic network that is cheap compared to satellite. Mobile phone operators used to pay about 20,000 US dollars (about 32m/-) while using satellite per month they now use just 160 US dollars (256,000/-) per month through the optic fibre.
Copyright Tanzania Daily News. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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