CA seeks new tool to monitor telcos

Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi addressing the press conference on device Management System that is soon to be launched and refuted claims that the system will access and monitor peoples' phones. This was at Intercontinetal Hotel Nairobi. ON 17/02/2017 [PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE]

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is procuring a multi-million-shilling system to monitor the quality of service offered by telecommunications firms.

This comes only a day after a system outage on the M-Pesa platform grounded subscribers for several hours on Sunday and Monday.

In an advert published yesterday, CA invited tenders from interested firms to tender for supply, delivery, installation, training, commissioning and maintenance of a network performance monitoring system. The new system is expected to keep an update of records from operators by monitoring real-time traffic in their respective networks, allowing the regulator to identify outages without having to rely on reports from the firms.

“We can’t always tell when there is a network outage and that is why we rely on consumers reporting cases of outages, and we also rely on operators who don’t always tell the truth,” said CA Director-General Francis Wangusi.

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However, the CA launched a Sh400million system only three months ago, which it promised would enable monitoring of quality of service as experienced by consumers.  

The system entails mobile units that are supposed to be deployed around five key regions to collect data on network service quality.

The information is then relayed to CA’s headquarters and aggregated with information from service providers as well as customer satisfaction surveys to generate a performance score. 

In addition to measures of network performance and quality of end-to-end calls used in the past, CA said the new system also takes measures of quality of data services.

 “The new system will aid in monitoring the quality of data services provided by Internet service providers because there have been numerous complaints from consumers of mobile data bundles either running out too fast or the data being throttled,” said Mr Wangusi at the time.

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CA now says both systems will be deployed concurrently.

The new system comes on the back of criticism on the part of the regulator for being lenient despite service providers consistently failing previous surveys. The most recent quality of service report indicates that all three main mobile service providers - Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom - had failed the regulator’s threshold.

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Communications AuthorityTelcosFrancis Wangusi