Kenya’s ICT regulator the Communications Authority (CA) has several tasks. One of its key functions is to ensure telecom operators offer the best of services to their customers. The watchdog’s powers are based on the quality of service field assessment of operators where carriers are slapped with fines for non-compliance.
Last year, the CA received KES 311.6 million in fines from Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya for poor services. In the same year, Safaricom dodged a KES 400 million fine for a countrywide outage that affected the carrier’s core services including data, SMS, M-PESA, among other enterprise services.
In line with the said function, the CA has gazetted a bunch of new guidelines to ensure mobile operators are more responsible for their services and customers. According to the BusinessDaily, the regulator will prompt service providers to send data about their network performance as often as possible. In the same line of concern, the regulator will look into the quality of SMS and Internet with emphasis on customer feedback.
At the moment, operators’ quality of services is gauged based on speech quality, completed calls, call rate success and drop rate, among other call indicators.
It is said that assessment will be done on a monthly basis, although data from operators will be collected by the CA hourly.
This development will be based on three key components: network performance, customer experience as well as end-to-end performance that analyses the rate of dropped calls, call connection time and voice/data quality. The CA believes the framework will be fully adopted in the next three years.
It is worth noting that the CA will deploy infrastructure at 22 sub-locations that have poor or no mobile coverage. This activity will be funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF). KES 85 million of the kitty’s funds will be used to connect about 20,000 residents of Baringo that have no access to mobile voice services.