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CCK stands by mobile ratings

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – The Communications Commission of Kenya has maintained that it acted within its mandate when it released its first-ever Assessment Report on the Quality of Service (QoS) offered by the four cellular operators in the country.

In the report, recently rebranded Airtel Kenya was cited as the operator with superior quality of service while Essar Telecom Kenya was ranked second. Safaricom and Telkom Kenya were only compliant on three out of the seven indicators which included completed calls, call set-up success rate, call drop rate and speech quality.

But while acknowledging that they do have network challenges, Safaricom blamed the inadequate allocation of spectrum to handle its 16 million customers as one of the factors to blame for the poor ranking but questioned the timing of the announcement and the methodology used in the study.

But in a statement which was in response to Safaricom, CCK Director General Charles Njoroge said it was the regulator’s responsibility to ensure that all operators provide good quality service to their customers.

“Section 23 of the Kenya Communications Act, 1998, mandates the CCK to ensure that the licensed telecommunications operators and service providers offer good quality services. This requirement is meant to ensure that ICT consumers get value for money in terms of the quality of services offered. The release of this report should therefore be understood from this regulatory perspective,” he stated.

Mr Njoroge stressed that the report was based on independent QoS measurements that are in line with global best practice. He further said that all operators were consulted and even appraised on the methodology.

The first six QoS parameters were gazetted on February 6 last year and two additional ones in August 2009 after more consultations with the operators, he said.

“CCK shared the QoS measurement methodology with operators on August 4, 2009. The operators have had all the time to study and raise any issue with the methodology,” he said in a statement. Therefore the complaint regarding the timing of the report and methodology used to carry out the assessment is not only dishonest but unfounded,” Mr Njoroge charged.

The release of the report was meant to assist the operators to improve their performance and he therefore encouraged the operators that have not met the stipulated targets to focus on upgrading their performance to ensure that customers enjoy the quality services.

Going forward, Mr Njoroge warned that the CCK would levy penalties for non-conformity with the set QoS as stipulated by the law.

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He also sought to assure consumers of ICT services that the regulator would continue to carry out the assessments on a yearly basis and publish the subsequent reports so as to help them make informed choices.

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