The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) says the poor network challenges mobile phone subscribers are currently grappling with are due to ongoing system upgrades by all three operators.

But the ICT regulator has cautioned that mobile phone companies have been given up to June 30, 2019, to clean up their network services as they will soon be faced with new quality of service guidelines, which will be enforced.

In an interview, Friday, ZICTA corporate communications manager Ngabo Nankonde said the disruptive network consumers were faced with were as a result of ongoing system upgrades across all networks.

“Mobile service companies are having upgrades on their systems and that’s why they are experiencing poor network services. However, we have given them up to June 30 to clean up their network services, failure to which, come July, we will start enforcing the new quality of service guideline,” Nankonde said.

“In the past, mobile phone companies found wanting have been fined due to poor quality service. However, the Authority has come up with new quality of service guidelines, which will be implemented once the (ZICTA) Board approves.”

She said the facilitation of traffic congestion had contributed to poor network service due to fibre optics being disconnected.

Nankonde, however, urged mobile phone companies to have back-up systems they can rely on.

“The congestion of traffic has affected networks because the fibre optics have been disconnected because of the digging around that’s going on. However, we have encouraged the phone companies to make sure they have a good back-up that they can rely on,” said Nankonde.

Meanwhile, ZICTA appealed to all three mobile operators to sensitize consumers on the network interruptions.