ZICTA has fined all three mobile network operators a combined total of K12.6 million for failing to adhere to the quality of service parameters, a move that has seen Zamtel being slapped with the highest fine of K4.8 million.
In a statement issued by ZICTA manager for corporate communications, Ngabo Nankonde, Tuesday, the mobile operators had been penalized for failing to meet set parameters such as; Call Set-Up Success Rate, SMS Delivery Time and HTTP Success log-ins, among others.
“ZICTA has penalized all the three mobile network operators for failing to adhere to the quality of service parameters as outlined in the quality of service guidelines during the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018, respectively. The three mobile phone operators, Airtel Networks Zambia Plc, MTN (Zambia) Limited and Zamtel Limited, have been fined a total of K12,600,000.00 for failing to meet some of the set parameters on quality of service, which collectively include; Call Set Up Success Rate, Mean Opinion Score, Successful SMS Rate, SMS Delivery Time and HTTP Success log-ins, HTTP Success Rate as well as HTTP Down Rates 2G and 3G,” Nankonde stated in a press statement released yesterday.
She revealed that Zamtel had been hit with the highest fine of K4.8 million, while MTN was fined K3.6 million, and Airtel hit with K4.2 million.
“The authority has fined MTN (Zambia) Limited a total of K3,600,000.00 for failing to meet the set parameters on Mean Opinion Score, HTTP Successful Internet Log-ins and Successful SMS Rate for both quarters. Airtel Networks Zambia Plc has been fined a total of K4,200,000.00 for failing to meet the set parameters on Call Drop Rate, Mean Opinion Score, HTTP Success Internet Log-ins and Successful SMS Rate for quarter four of 2017, as well as Mean Opinion Score, HTTP Success Internet login-ins and Success SMS Rate for quarter one of 2018,” she stated.
“Further, the authority has fined Zamtel Limited a total of K4,800,000.00 for failing to meet the set parameters on Call Set up Success Rate, Mean Opinion Score, HTTP Successful Internet Log-ins and Successful SMS Rate for both quarters.”
Nankonde stated that the authority had arrived at this decision following an inquiry held last month where the mobile operators made submissions and presentations.
“The authority arrived at this decision following an inquiry, which was held on May 28, 2018, at which the mobile operators appeared and made submissions and presentations. During the period October 1 to December 31, 2017, and January 1 to March 31, 2018, the authority conducted inspections with respect to Quality of Service by the three Mobile Network Operators. Section 67 (1) of the ICT Act No. 15 of 2009, places an obligation on the service providers to meet such minimum standards of Quality of Service as the authority may specify or publish,” she stated.
Nankonde stated that ZICTA was empowered to promote the interests of consumers, as authorised under section 67(1) of the ICT Act.
“The authority is empowered to promote the interests of consumers and, therefore, authorised under section 67(1) of the ICT Act to specify and publish the minimum standards of quality of service, which all service providers must meet. In liaison with the mobile network operators, the authority developed, issued and published the Quality of Service Guidelines containing standards, methods of measurement, target Key Quality Indicators (KQI) and sanctions for breach. These guidelines protect the consumers of major ICT services in the retail and wholesale markets, as well as postal and courier services,” she stated.
She warned mobile network operators and players in the ICT sector that the regulator would not hesitate to enforce the law on any operator failing to meet the set parameters.
“The tests conducted during the inspections were for voice and data services. The tests were end-to-end intranet for the respective MNOs (Mobile Network Operators). We, therefore, want to take this opportunity to warn the Mobile Network Operators and other players in the ICT sector that the regulator will not hesitate to strictly enforce the law on any operator failing to meet the set parameters on Quality of Service guidelines,” cautioned Nankonde.