Communications Authority of Kenya Toughens Rules on Telcos to Improve Quality of Service



The Communications Authority of Kenya is seeking public consultations on a raft of new measures aimed at improving the quality of services telcos offer their subscribers. The rules will affect SMS, calls and data services and are set to seek an improvement from the current rules.

The Authority  adopted a framework for the same in 2009, that empowers it to conduct quality of service field assessment for mobile networks by verifying the level of compliance by operators. Amendments to the KICA Act of 1998 in 2013 also allowed CA to enforce compliance by increasing the penalty for non-compliance from a flat fee of Kshs. 500,000 to 0.2% of the gross annual turnover of telcos. In the 2014/15 financial year, Kshs. 190 Million in penalties were collected.

The Authority has been looking to further improve the quality of service which saw it engage a consultant on a new Quality of Service Framework. The said framework was planned for a trial phase in the 4th Quarter of 2015/2016 but failed to take-off. This has seen the authority seek new modalities for the same necessitating the public consultations. In the new framework, the Authority is focusing on three core areas including overall network performance; End-to-End network infrastructure working with the end user devices and quality of experience which will focus on networks & devices as well as customer perception.


On Voice, the Authority will require that mobile network operators reduce their unsuccessful call ratio to below 5%, while the ratio of call drops should be lowered to below 2%. The dropped call call ratio is the probability that a successful call attempt is ended during a standard duration of the communication by a cause other than the intentional termination by the calling or called party. The Authority will also require telcos to keep the call set up time to below 8 seconds and the ration of completed calls above 95%.


As far as messaging, the authorities wants telcos to increase the successful SMS ratio and the completion ratio at 95%. The  delivery time of SMS, which is the the period starting when sending an SMS from a terminal equipment to a Short Message centre and finishing when receiving the very same SMS on another terminal equipment is also set to be lowered to 30 seconds. The same will apply for MMS, except the time of delivery which has increased to 180 seconds.

Data/ Internet

As far as data/ mobile internet, the authority wants  telcos to lower the latency, which is the time it takes for a packet to reach the receiving endpoint after being transmitted from the sending endpoint lowered to 100 milliseconds. Jitter, a measure of the difference in the end-to-end latency between packets should be lowered to 50 milliseconds according to CA. The Authority also wants internet accessibility, which is the ability of a customer being able to access  internet applications  from his Internet access increased to 98%.

These regulations are up for debate meaning you can give your fair share of views on the same to CA.

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Eric writes on business, govt policy and enterprise tech.


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