The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has asked mobile network operators to deploy more masts in terrains with mountains and valleys in order to enhance their quality of service, amid complaints of increased drop calls and weak signals in such regions.
Speaking during the 18th ICT Consumer Forum, dubbed Kikao Kikuu in Nyandarua County Mercy Wanjau, CA’s acting Director-General said while mobile penetration in the country stands at 109 percent the quality of voice and data services still remains the biggest challenge to consumers.
“As the ICT industry experience advanced growth globally, mobile service in Kenya has grown exponentially exceeding the initial projections we had when the industry was liberalized in 1998,” she said.
During the forum Nyandarua County was cited as one of the regions whose topography affects the services offered by the mobile operators and as a results its residents experiencing drop voice calls, poor internet connections and weak signals , despite 99.7 per cent of its population being covered by 2G and 66.1 per cent of the population covered by 3G, serving 61.5 per cent of its population that owns mobile phones.
“At the Authority, quality of service provided to consumers is very dear to our heart. While we have a high mobile penetration of 109.2 percent in Kenya, The concerns for the quality of these services are still not satisfactory in some areas, Nyandarua county included,” Mrs. Wanjau said during the Forum.
The County ICT Consumer Forum, organized by CA in partnership by the County governments, enables communication service providers to have a deeper understanding of consumer issues and concerns as directly presented by consumers.
Francis Kememia, Governor Nyandarua County noted that County is committed to promoting faster adoption of ICTs and improved network connectivity will enable the residents to effectively leverage on ICTs and boost their socio-economic development.
“We are cognizant that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have an impact on socio-economic development. The focus on ICT utilization and their development are therefore key to support our traditional economic activities and retain our competitiveness, however, this can only be realized through stable networks,” Mr. Kememia said.
The Governor said most areas in Nyandarua County have poor mobile phone networks making it difficult for locals to communicate through phone calls.
Section 23 of the Kenya Communications Act, 1998, mandates the CA to ensure that the licensed telecommunications operators and service providers offer good quality services. This is also in line with the license conditions that obligate licensees to provide good quality service to their customers.
Over the years, the Authority has been releasing the Quality of Service report, measurements in line with global best practice. While QoS improvements have been noticed over the years, none- of the mobile network operators has met the set threshold of measuring the QoS parameters.