Earlier today, Kenya’s ICT watchdog the Communications Authority (CA) unveiled new equipment that will be used to check the quality of service rendered by mobile operators. The systems will take over from older machines that were bought by the authority back in 2009 owing to their superiority in many technical aspects.
The CA started consulting industry leaders and devised the framework for measuring the quality of service in 2004, but only managed to secure its testing tools nearly a decade ago. Over that period, it has emerged that voice is no longer a predominant service (the older machines can only measure voice quality) as it has since been replaced by data. This development necessitated the upgrade of older systems for ones that were announced today, which can also measure the quality of data and SMS.
The CA says that testing will be based on three parameters: data collection from mobile operators, end-to-end assessment in line with the equipment used and customer satisfaction. In principle, the CA will take customer response very seriously to determine if the service promised by a carrier is replicated in real life based on user satisfaction.
Operators who will fail to meet the minimum requirements of what constitutes a robust service will be penalized. This is good news for consumers because telcos that have lagged behind and promising excellent service but fail to deliver will be brought to book. Should this warning go to force then Kenyans will benefit in the long run.
At the moment, the CA will deploy the machines to Mombasa and Eldoret. One will be stationed in Nairobi. Additional testing equipment will be installed in Nyeri and Kisumu on a later date.
The CA notes that soon, it will start measuring the quality of mobile money services, as well as broadcasting services to gauge the quality of content reaching consumers.