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Safaricom has put on hold the prepay top-up service for the roaming customers. The telcom says that other better options for topping up have turned the service obsolete.

The Roaming Service

The service was started nine years ago. And it allowed prepay users to top up their lines with scratch cards from other partner networks while visiting East Africa. That is, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and also Burundi.

Safaricom Suspends Roaming Service

Safaricom Suspends Roaming Service

The platform also allowed PrePay users from partner networks to top up their lines with Safaricom cards. The company says that their customers will still be able to top up through M-Pesa and Sambaza while traveling.

The service gave customers the ability to use their cellular devices to make and receive voice calls when traveling outside Kenya. It also allowed them to send and receive data and access other services. All this was by means of using a partner or visited network.


Safaricom was charging the roaming fees on a per minute basis for wireless voice service. It charged the written message on per text message. In addition, it charged data service on per megabyte per second. So the company had a pricing plan.

The mobile network provider was sending text alerts to advise traveling users about the international rates.  So it was clear when the charges started to apply.

The suspension will have effect on tourists and business travelers. But since there are other methods of topping up, the impact will be bearable.

International Roaming

Basically, Safaricom used international roaming which is the easiest. This roaming uses the GSM standard which is preferred by over 80% of the world’s mobile operators. The mobile service providers in the region use the GSM standard which made this type of service possible for the telcom.

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