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Telcos face more scrutiny in quality of service audit

 Francis Wangusi
(L-R) Communications Authority director-general Francis Wangusi, Kenya Film Commission chief executive Timothy Owase and his StarTimes counterpart Andy Wang at a function in Nairobi last week. Looking on is KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Telcos are set to come under increased regulation over quality of their services after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) placed another order with German-based Rohde & Schwarz for additional mobile and spectrum monitoring equipment.

The CA has concluded the tender process for phase two of a new system to track network performance and customer experience by ordering additional equipment, coming after an initial contract in 2016.

Outgoing Director-General Francis Wangusi earlier said the Sh400 million system procured through local partner Broadband Communication Networks would track network performance and customer experience.

The latest deal extends the system the company placed in service in February 2016.

The firm said in a statement dated August 1 the second phase consists of a systems design, proposal, delivery, installation and training.

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“In addition, it includes implementation and maintenance services for three control centres in Nyeri, Kisumu and Eldoret to remotely control existing stations, one V/UHF fixed monitoring station in Nyeri, one direction-finding (DF) base in Kitale and three mobile monitoring stations,” Rohde & Schwarz said.

“A fixed HF monitoring station and three mobile monitoring and DF stations are to be delivered. The second phase will be implemented by mid-2020.”

Each year, the CA measures the quality of service telecom operators provide based on eight key indicators including the amount of time it takes to set up a call as well as its voice quality.

The CA in its report, covering the 2015/16 fiscal year, found that none of the three mobile network operators including Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya had met the minimum standards for telecommunication services in that review period, resulting in them paying an aggregate fine of Sh311 million.

The CA levies a fine equal to 0.1 percent the gross annual revenue of a firm for failing to meet these standards, penalties that the regulator deems too lenient.

Rohde & Schwarz said in the statement the new additional mobile monitoring stations would use pickup trucks as a base, allowing for off-road capabilities.

The trucks will be acquired locally while the mobile monitoring system will be installed in a special truck-mounted shelter at the Rohde & Schwarz factory.

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