Benin and Togo have signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) enabling free international mobile network roaming between the two countries.
The agreement adheres to roaming regulations set out by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – specifically Regulation No. C/REG.21/12/17 (2017) for roaming on public mobile networks within ECOWAS states.
Agence Ecofin reports that the respective regulators of each country – the Beninese Authority for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post (l’Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et de la Poste, ARCEP) and ARCEP Togo – signed the MoU on 18th October 2023, and have agreed to implement it on 1st January 2024.
As reported by TogoFirst, the agreement will see mobile users travelling between the two countries able to benefit from the same rates as local subscribers for a period of 30 days. They will be able to receive incoming calls and messages free of charge, and data roaming rates will be capped at XOF2.2 (USD0.0035) per MB, compared to current rates which can reach XOF8,000/MB.
International calls between the two countries will also be capped from 1st January 2024 at XOF90 per minute, whether on the user’s home network or abroad. According to TogoFirst, a Togolese roamer in Benin can currently expect to pay XOF1,393 per minute if they call home, so the rate cap is a significant reduction.
Togo is currently finalising a similar roaming agreement with Ghana, which in July this year signed a roaming agreement under the ECOWAS regulations with Cote d’Ivoire.