The CA fines Safaricom, Airtel and Telekom Kenya $3 million for poor quality of service

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has fined Safaricom, Airtel and Telekom Kenya a combined sum of $3 million (Sh 311 million) for failure to meet the quality of service standards for the 2015/2016 financial year.

In the report, Safaricom scored 62.5%, while Airtel and Telkom Kenya Ltd were rated at 75% each, meaning that all three missed the minimum 80% compliance threshold for four years running.

The report assessed the operators based on a number of parameters including: received signal level, call block rate, call set-up time, call set-up success rate, call drop rate, speech quality, handover success rate and call completion rate.

Data from the CA shows that Safaricom, which was fined $2.6 million (Sh270 million), is the only company of the three that has paid up its fines. Airtel was fined $258,000 (Sh26.6 million) and Telkom Kenya $144,000 (Sh14.9 million).

In a statement, HiviSasa quoted the regulator as saying: “Safaricom has already paid. The other two licensees are yet to pay due to issues they have raised, which are being addressed”.

It when on to say that the authority “issued the licensees with warning notices for non-compliance and also fined them a sum equivalent to 0.15% of their individual latest financial returns for the period prior to 30thJune 2017”.

The authority says it has continuously invested in “systems and infrastructure to better improve the performance of the sector and its assessment methods” and that a new quality of service framework has been developed with stakeholders to improve the assessment of compliance by the operators. In the new framework the authority will assess both data and voice services and increase its national sample size.

In addition the CA has taken measures to increase its capacity in order to be to respond to emerging technologies and changing consumer service preferences. 

In September, Safaricom two new directors days after finalising the sale of 30% of its business to Vodacom, a Vodafone subsidiary. Mohamed Shameel Aziz Joosub and Linda Watiri Muruiki have joined its board as non-executive directors.

In related news Bharti Airtel has struck a deal with Millicom in December that sees Airtel acquiring a 100% stake in Millicom’s Tigo Rwanda. The deal is set to make Airtel a strong number two player in the Rwandan telecoms market.

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