, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has warned mobile telecommunication companies that they risk having their licenses revoked or not renewed, if they do not adhere to all the laid down quality of service regulations.
Matiang’i regretted that currently, all the four mobile operators are still below the 80 percent quality service threshold, leaving customers on the losing end.
“The line on the issue of regulatory obligations is very clear. You comply or you are out of the business,” he said, “If you come in, you come to a regulatory environment and you play according to the rules.”
He says customers are still experiencing challenges like call drops, call blocks, poor network, poor speech quality, slow call set up time, among others.
“Our responsibility is to ensure that the people of Kenya receive quality service. It has nothing to do with us loving or hating them and it is as clear as that,” Matiang’i said on the sidelines after the launch of Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) website on Wednesday.
According to the latest Quality of Service Report 2012-2013 by CCK, Safaricom, Airtel and Essar Telecom tied at 50 percent, behind Telkom Kenya which scored highest at 62.5 percent.
Key performance indicators that have not been met by any of the operators included call block rate, completed calls and call set up success rate (CSSR).
However, all the operators met the KPI targets in respect to RX Level (signal strength), call set up time, handover success rate and call drop rate.
Safaricom, which controls 80.2 percent of Kenya’s mobile phone voice traffic is yet to meet the regulator over its license renewal which is due to expire in June 30, this year.
This will depend on the firm’s commitment to adhere to the set minimum quality of service standards and the new terms and conditions.
But Safaricom says it was optimistic that things will improve following its heavy investment both on its voice and Internet connectivity.
“It was at the beginning of this period that we recognised that there were challenges in delivering an acceptable quality of service for our customers,” Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told Capital FM Business.
The firm has spent over Sh25billion on improving its network under the ‘Best Network in Kenya’ initiative, which he said is anchored on the premise of providing our customers with the best data and voice experience of any network in Kenya.
The firm called on the need for cooperation between the operators and the government on the matter.
“CCK has responded well to industry feedback on the methodology and has gone out to tender for a new measurement framework as well as independent assessment in the future. This will benefit everyone including customers and operators because it will be easier to identify and remedy weak areas,” he said.
Airtel holds 10.4 percent of the market share and eight percent by Essar percent.