Poor voice and data services maintained the top spot of consumer complaints to the Communications Authority (CA) in the quarter that ended September 2022, new data shows, extending a poor show by telecommunications firms, including Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom.
The regulator has set an 80 percent service quality compliance threshold for mobile cellular service providers.
Satisfying the CA score is critical since telcos breaching requirements on the quality of calls and other service outages as a result of omission on their part risk a fine of up to 0.2 per cent of their revenues, which could run into hundreds of millions of shillings.
The assessment is based on how an operator performs on eight key parameters as picked up in different parts of Kenya.
The eight include: call set-up time, which is the period between the end of dialling a telephone call and the start of voice or data transmission, and completion of calls, which is the number of calls that are completed on a network satisfactorily compared to the total number of call attempts made by callers.
The other parameters are call set-up success rate—the number of attempts to make a call that result in a connection to the dialled number; speech quality, which is clarity; and drop call rates, a phone call that the network terminates unexpectedly on account of technical reasons.
Call handover success rate, when a mobile handset moves out of one cell to the next and is handed over automatically from the base station of the first cell to that of the next with no discernible delay, and the strength of received signals, also determine compliance.
A quality report released by the regulator in June this year showed that Airtel Kenya had the worst mobile cellular services in the year to June 2021 despite posting the highest improvement among peers. Airtel posted a service quality score of 65.45per cent last year, up from 52 per cent in 2020.
The regulator has set an 80 per cent service quality compliance threshold for mobile cellular service providers.
The CA report shows that Telkom Kenya was the second worst service provider in the year to June 2021. The quality of service by Telkom Kenya dipped to 67.5 per cent last year from 73 per cent in 2020, marking the only slump among cellular service providers in 2021.
Kenya’s largest operator, Safaricom, retained its ranking as the best mobile service provider. In the year to June 2021, the telco posted a service quality score of 92.7 per cent—92 per cent better than 2020, making it the only compliant service provider.