Airtel, Telkom Receive Warning from Communication Authority Over Poor Services

January 19, 2024

The latest report by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) on the performance of mobile network operators for the year 2022-2023 has brought to light some critical insights into the industry.

As per the report, Safaricom has outperformed its competitors, achieving 90 percent of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) threshold.

Airtel and Telkom, on the other hand, recorded lower KPI compliance, attaining 79 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

This performance assessment is particularly significant when considering the overall industry trend, which has seen a notable drop from 82.3 percent in the 2021-2022 period to 72.4 percent in 2022-2023.

This decline highlights a pressing challenge for the industry as a whole.

The CA’s report has also issued a warning to Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya regarding their subpar services.

Specifically, the two firms have been flagged for not meeting their coverage targets and failing to achieve several critical Quality of Service Key Performance Indicators.

These indicators include aspects such as the ‘unsuccessful call ratio’ and Data Internet KPIs, which are crucial for coverage and internet accessibility.

“Airtel Networks Kenya Limited and Telkom Kenya failed to not only meet their coverage targets but also several most critical Quality of Service Key Performance Indicators particularly the ‘unsuccessful call ratio’ and Data Internet KPIs which are indicators for coverage and internet accessibility,” reads the report in part.

“The Authority, therefore, proceeded to levy a penalty for underperformance in offering quality of service by the two mobile networks and cautioned them with a non-compliance penalty that requires improvement of performance. Failure to follow the notice, a sanction level will be applied.”

Overview of the mobile network providers’ performance according to the CA’s report:

Network Provider Key Performance Indicators (2022-2023) Performance Drop (2021-2022 to 2022-2023) Total Subscribers Performance in Counties Lowest Score in Counties Performance in Urban Areas
Safaricom 90% 43,727,515 87.60% 63.5% in Vihiga and Kajiado
Airtel 79% 17,636,324 75.07% 45.45% in Baringo and Laikipia 90.91% (Best in Machakos, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kericho, Siaya, Muranga)
Telkom 65% 2,774,254 54.75% 36.36% in Muranga and Laikipia 72.73% (Vihiga, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru)

The data outlines the disparity between the operators, particularly highlighting Safaricom’s dominance in the market in terms of both KPI compliance and subscriber base.

Moreover, it shows the varying levels of performance within different counties, with Safaricom leading the pack, followed by Airtel and Telkom.

Safaricom’s impressive reach is evident, as it tops the performance chart in counties with an 87.60 percent rating.

However, it’s noteworthy that even Safaricom faced challenges in certain counties, with its lowest score being 63.5 percent in Vihiga and Kajiado.

Airtel and Telkom, while trailing behind, have shown better performance in urban areas, with Airtel scoring 90.91 percent, particularly excelling in Machakos, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kericho, Siaya, and Muranga.

Telkom scored 72.73 percent in urban areas like Vihiga, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Nakuru.

The CA’s report concludes by emphasizing the need for improved service delivery, especially for Airtel and Telkom, to meet the rising demands of their subscriber base and adhere to industry standards.

The Authority has cautioned these providers with non-compliance penalties, urging them to enhance their performance, threatening that failure to adhere could lead to more stringent sanctions.

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