The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) will implement new standards of measuring the quality of mobile phone services in phases following a request from operators.
The CA has published a new framework, which expands the authority’s powers by requiring operators to submit data on network performance more regularly, assessing the quality SMS and Internet services in addition to voice, and taking the views of customers into consideration.
While the framework is supposed to take effect in the 2017/18 financial year, the CA says assessing network performance and surveys to measure customer experience will be delayed.
“During the public consultation process, certain stakeholders expressed their desire that a phased approach be taken with regard to the introduction of the quality of experience and the network performance components of the new framework,” says the CA in a Kenya Gazette notice.
Network performance, which will be measured by requiring operators to submit data on an hourly basis, will take effect in the second year of implementing the framework.
It won’t be until the third year that the CA will start including customer views in calculating the overall quality of services offered.
For the first year, only the end-to-end quality of service component will be considered in determining whether operators are meeting service standards.
This component looks at such issues as whether calls are dropped; the time it takes to connect a call; or the voice and data quality.
Once the framework is fully in place, the end-to-end quality of service measure will account for 60 per cent of the score awarded to operators. Network performance and customer experience will account for 25 per cent and 15 per cent of the score respectively.
Operators will have to score an overall 80 per cent to meet the quality of standards and avoid stiff penalties. Under the current regime, operators have repeatedly failed to meet quality of service standards and in the past year, they were collectively fined Sh312 million.
The CA had originally planned to outsource the quality of service work to a third party, but has since said that it will carry out the work internally after it failed to source a company that could do the work within the set budget.