Kenya’s Safaricom questions number portability

December 8, 2010 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

MOBILE operator Safaricom has expressed doubts about the viability of number portability in Kenya, citing the culture of users buying more than one SIM card.

“This is multi-SIM country and number portability may not work here,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.

At the same time, Collymore has challenged the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) to contract an independent firm to carry out future Quality of Service tests to ensure credibility.

The operator had openly criticized the regulator about the criteria used to carry out the last tests where Safaricom was placed third in the country, citing inconsistency.

The last QoS test assessed speech quality, call block rate, percentage of completed calls, call set up success rate, call drop rate, hand over success rate and cross-talk.

Collymore said an independent report would ensure greater transparency as well as standards that meet those of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

He said operators should contribute to the financing of the report as well as engage with the CCK on the parameters to be used in future reports.

According to the findings of the report, Airtel Kenya passed seven of the eight parameters used to gauge quality of mobile phone services in the country, followed by Yu, which complied with four of the parameters.

Safaricom and Telkom Kenya trailed, complying with just three out of the eight parameters.

The regulator however stands by its report saying it was one of the measures being taken to ensure consumers benefit from better quality of mobile phone services.

The CCK has even gone a step further to warn that it may penalize mobile operators who are found wanting in future,

Brian Adero in Nairobi



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