All Kenyan Telcos Register Poorer Quality of Service Scores, Industry Average Drops 10%

Safaricom 5G Network Tower
Safaricom 5G Network Tower

The Quality of Service Report (QoS) for the year ended indicates that telephony service quality in Kenya is dropping. For the referenced period, the industry average score was 72.4 per cent. This is a huge drop from the 82.3 per cent registered in the preceding period of 2021/2022.

Data released by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) shows that only Safaricom attained a score above the 80 per cent performance threshold. Airtel and Telkom Kenya attained 79 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

CA states that “A mobile operator is rated compliant when they attain 80 per cent of the set QoS KPIs“. As it is all service providers bar Safaricom are non-compliant. This has prompted the authority to issue warning notices to both Airtel and Telkom Kenya. The two telcos are both at risk of getting a fine.

Airtel Kenya Networks and Telkom Kenya failed to meet not only their coverage targets but also a number of the most critical QoS KPIs, particularly the “Unsuccessful Call Ratio” and Data Internet KPIs, which is an indicator for coverage and Internet availability/accessibility respectively”, reads part of the report.

Despite meeting the threshold, Safaricom’s QoS score, dropped from 95.68% in 2020/2021 to 95% in 2021/2022. In 2023, it had a drop of almost 8% to 87.60%.

Telkom on its part has been faced with persistent network outages due to a huge debt it owes American Tower Corporation (ATC). This debt led to the company shutting down communication towers hence, affecting Telkom’s QoS performance.

Quality of Service County Scores

On a county level, Nairobi residents enjoy the best QoS with a score of 93.9 per cent. On the other end of the spectrum, Laikipia county is ranked last registering a QoS score of 54 per cent. However, the authority failed to conduct inspection and monitoring in all 47 Kenyan counties as mandated. Citing insecurity, the report excluded Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa counties.

Subject to Section 23 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, the CA is tasked with role of ensuring all licensed operators meet set quality of service thresholds. The KPIs are agreements set at the time of licencing.

The report also shows that mobile network connectivity projects implemented by the Authority through the Universal Service Fund (USF) have greatly enhanced the overall quality of service offered and experienced by consumers, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas of the country.