Kenya’s Telcos struggling with Network Quality, as regulator grills them

The telecom industry in Kenya as been in the spotlight this past week after the regulator CCK released the Quality of service results benchmarking.  ICT Consumers Association of Kenya wants the Communication Commission of Kenya to exercise impartiality in enforcing the quality of service regulations irrespective of the size of the mobile company.

For the record, none of the four mobile operators achieved the 80%minimum QoS threshold for the period ending June 2013, the CCK said in a report last Tuesday.  Just like here in Uganda, Orange Kenya’s (TK) came first with 62.5% rating while the other players–Safaricom, Airtel and yuMobile–tied at 50 per cent.

The finding has renewed the deep-seated dispute between the regulator and operators over the methodology used to assess their services. The increasing tension was the highlight of a joint press conference yesterday at Hotel Intercontinental involving the ICT ministry, the CCK and the four operators. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has however disputed the CCK’s methodology as erroneous citing an independent analysis that rated Safaricom at 87.5 per cent.

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ICAK however, wants the industry to use the report as an opportunity to better quality of its services.

“We have invested heavily in our devices and it’s only fair that the operators don’t see this as a problem, but an opportunity to deliver better services,” the lobby’s chairman Alex Gakuru said in a telephone interview. “The industry has good testing and reporting parameters and as consumers we want continued engagement.”

The penalty for none-complying firms is  Sh500,000 ($ 580) as stipulated in Kenya’s GSM operating licensing regulations