Communications Authority challenges mobile operators to enhance quality of service

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The Communications Authority (CA) which is the regulatory authority for the communications sector in Kenya has challenged telcos to enhance quality of service in the areas that they serve.

The CA while hosting a Kikao Kikuu forum in Nyandarua County asked the mobile network operators to deploy more masts in terrains with mountains and valleys in order to enhance their quality of service, amid complaints of increased drop calls and weak signals in such the regions.

During the forum Nyandarua County which is quite hilly was  cited as one of the regions whose topography affects the services offered by the mobile operators and as a results its  residents   experiencing drop voice  calls, poor internet connections  and weak signals. This was despite  99.7 per cent of its  population being covered by 2G and  66.1 per cent of the population covered  by 3G,  serving  61.5 per cent of its population that owns  mobile phones.

In a bid to enhance the quality of service that the mobile operators provide to their clients, the authority indicated that in 2018 they acquired equipment that can be used to assess and monitor the same. The equipment can be used to monitor the quality in both data and voice. It has also opened regional offices in Nyeri, Kisumu and Mombasa so as to make it easier for the authority to receive and handle complaints from the public as well as monitor quality.

Section 23 of the Kenya Communications Act, 1998, mandates the CA to ensure that the licensed telecommunications operators and service providers offer good quality services. This is also in line with the licence conditions that obligates licensees to provide good quality service to their customers. Over the years, the Authority has been releasing the Quality of Service report, measurements in line with global best practice. While QoS improvements have been noticed over the years, none- of the mobile network operators has meet the set threshold of measuring the QoS parameters.

Mercy Wanjau, CA’s acting Director General had this to say, “At the Authority, quality of service provided to consumers is very dear to our heart.  While we have a high mobile penetration of 109.2 per cent in Kenya, The concerns for the quality of these services are still not satisfactory in some areas, Nyandarua county included.”

During the forum, the Nyandarua County government revealed that they are bridging the gap between skills demand and lack of jobs through the Ajira Digital Project. It is also offering free internet to public primary and secondary schools through a project implemented in partnership with Airtel Kenya. In this project schools get a wireless router and 8GB data every month free of charge. This enables the school kids to affordably access learning content. The county is also a beneficiary of the authority’s education broadband to school project which is implemented under the Universal Service Fund Programme which aims to connect schools to fast internet. Some of the schools which have been connected include; Shamata Girls, Njabini Boys, Mt. Kinangop Girls, Karima Girls and Magomano.

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