Last year, it procured a Sh400 million monitoring system it says is helping it to track network performance and customer experience.

Currently, the CA levies a fine of 0.1 per cent of the gross annual revenue of a firm for failing to meet quality standards.

FINANCIAL MUSCLE

But CA director general Francis Wangusi says these penalties are too low for telcos to feel the pinch, meaning that it is cheaper for them to pay fines rather than invest in quality improvement.

The most recent report suggests that the quality of voice services offered by mobile operators Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya worsened in 2016.

These saw them collectively fined Sh311.6 million for poor services with market leader Safaricom taking the heaviest hit.

The telco giant was fined Sh270 million while Airtel and Telkom were fined Sh26.6 million and Sh14.9 million respectively. Before the adoption of 0.1 per cent of gross revenue rule, previously firms were fined a flat rate of Sh500,000 which was also deemed to be too lenient.

The amendment will further add pressure on telcos only that, this time, consumers who are affected by these services will now be the beneficiaries of the penalties.

The Bill further seeks to “amend the Kenya Information and Communications Act to make provision for quality of service to consumers making calls by compelling licensees to invest in infrastructure that will guarantee quality of service for consumers making calls,” Gem MP Elisha Otieno says in his memorandum to parliament.

Another significant change to the law is that telecommunication companies will now be allowed to do other businesses other than what they are currently licensed to do as long as they split them from their communication business. If this goes through, it will be music to the ears to firms like Safaricom, who have the financial muscle to venture into multiple businesses, but had been stopped by the law.

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