The initiative is aimed at creating an enabling environment for the international mobile roaming market to ensure affordable access to roaming services for voice, SMS and data.
According to Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the initiative would reduce roaming rates within the ECOWAS sub-region, promote cross border investments and encourage competition among operators to reduce call charges.
“From January 1, 2020, all ECOWAS citizens travelling within the region will experience no roaming tariffs but will roam at local rates,” she said.
All 15 ECOWAS-member countries were committed to completing all the legal and administrative processes required to facilitate the roaming initiative by December 31, 2019.
The implementation of the ECOWAS roaming initiative will enhance regional integration and economic development and facilitate Ghana’s hosting of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful said.
She noted that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Ghana are therefore required to conclude roaming agreements with operators in the ECOWAS region by December 31, 2019.
She noted that experiences from other regions that have implemented free roaming in their jurisdictions demonstrate exponential growth in traffic volumes with corresponding revenue increase.