The Kenyan government is looking at increasing existing fines to be levied against telecommunications operators in the country if substandard service continue, the government said on Tuesday.
According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the current fines are “too lenient” and has resulted in operators failing to comply with the push by Nairobi to boost services for users.
Operators currently pay KES 500,000 for any breach of quality of service levels established by the CCK.
“The CCK uses eight key performance indicators (KPIs) agreed upon between the commission and the mobile firms, which includes call set-up time, handover success rate, dropped calls, blocked calls, speech quality and signal strength,” said Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo, adding that in the last Quality of Service report by the CCK, “none of the operators met the threshold, and all were fined.”
The ministry was currently developing a new fine structure in order to force companies to comply.
CCK’s quality of service report for the financial year 2010-2011, released last November, indicated that Airtel Kenya, Essar Telecom (Yu) and Safaricom met 6 of the 8 KPIs, attaining a compliance rate of 75 percent, while Orange Kenya met four, a compliance rate of 50 percent.
“The operators are supposed to met seven out of the eight,” Ndemo said. “Network quality has become a critical differentiation factor among the operators, as they enter the data market on a large scale and the industry regulator monitors their performance.”