The ICT regulator will not fine Kenya’s largest telco as its overall QoS performance surpassed the 80% threshold

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telco, recorded a drop in its quality of service (QoS) for a third consecutive year, according to data from Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA). Yet, it escaped a fine from the regulator because it met the minimum compliance threshold of 80% for several QoS parameters.

Safaricom’s end-to-end QoS performance, which measures communication services’ overall quality and reliability, dropped from 95.68% in 2020/2021 to 95% in 2021/2022. In 2023, this number dropped to 87.60%.

None of the three major Kenyan telcos—Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom—registered improvements in their quality of service in the last financial year. Per the CA, the test was conducted across 44 of Kenya’s 47 counties: “During the year, the Authority monitored quality of service for three mobile network operators (Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom). The drive tests were done across 44 counties that are currently accessible in terms of local security and advisories received.”

While Telkom and Airtel recorded improvements during the 2021/2022 period at 73% and 79%, respectively, their performance dropped to 54.75% (Telkom) and 75.07% (Airtel Kenya).

Source: The Communications Authority of Kenya 

The big drop in Telkom Kenya’s quality of service is linked to a network disruption in June 2023 after the American Tower Corporation (ATC) switched off its towers for failing to pay $24 million in outstanding leasing fees. Telkom has yet to address the disruption and has been exploring a sale. UAE-based Infrastructure Corp. of Africa LLC owns Telkom after a successful bidding process in late 2023.

Overall performance

Safaricom recorded the highest overall compliance with 87.60%, followed by Airtel Kenya at 75.07%. Telkom Kenya’s performance stood at 54.75% in end-to-end tests. 

This means that the CA will fine Telkom and Airtel for failing to meet the QoS standards for the 2022/2023 financial year. 

Source: The Communications Authority of Kenya 
Over the past five years, the CA has collected over KES 500 million in fines from operators for not meeting quality of service standards.

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