Mucheru seeks stiffer penalties for telecoms over ‘quality’

May 10, 2016
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Mucheru laments that despite the current fines subjected to the telecom companies when they fail to meet the required threshold, there is still less or zero improvement in quality of service/FILE
Mucheru laments that despite the current fines subjected to the telecom companies when they fail to meet the required threshold, there is still less or zero improvement in quality of service/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10- Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru has challenged the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to come up new strategies that will push mobile service providers to ensure Quality of Service (QoS).

Mucheru laments that despite the current fines subjected to the telecom companies when they fail to meet the required threshold, there is still less or zero improvement in quality of service.

He says the authority should come up with perhaps more tougher penalties under the law that will see telecom companies avoid issues like call drops or occasional poor network.

“The operators have to give quality of service. It is in the license and that is what they are required to do. At the moment it seems easier for the operator to pay a fine than fix the problem. And that is why I was suggesting that they can even say all calls that are dropped be free,” Mucheru said as he addressed the new board during its inauguration on Tuesday.

In the financial year 2014/2015, none of the three mobile network operators met the set minimum Quality of Service threshold of 80percent.

Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Orange did not register any significant improvement in their overall performance, all having managed 62.5 per cent, the same score they had the previous financial year.

The eight parameter used to measure QoS include Call Completion Rate, Call Drop Rate, Call Block Rate, Speech Quality, Call Set Up Time, Handover Success Rate, Call Set Up Success Rate and signal strength of the operators from Base Transmission Station (mobile tower).

He called on the new board to give priority to this issues as developing in much new mobile products will be a challenge if the operators have not been able to meet the basic requirements.

The CS took time to also urge the mobile operators to agree on how to implement the mobile money interoperability whereby customers can be able to send and receive money across networks and the e-money goes directly to the respective subscriber’s e-wallet account.

“They have to agree on what are going to be the tariffs amongst themselves and if they don’t the regulator may have to set in. But at this stage it’s something we feel they can do as a market,”

In Kenya you will find people using specific networks for mobile money and another network for voice calls as well as Short Message Services.

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