Kenya's regulator hands out record fines to operators

By:
Bill Boyle
Published on:

The Communications Authority of Kenya has fined operators Sh190 million ($18.7 million) in the past year for poor quality of service

The Communications Authority of Kenya has fined operators Sh190 million ($18.7 million) in the past year for poor quality of service, it revealed yesterday.

Safaricom,  the market leader, paid a fine of Sh157 million ($15.45 million), having the dubious distinction of coming top of the list, while Airtel and Telkom Kenya paid a combined penalty of Sh33 million ($32.4 million).

There is not a single operator in the country, according to the Communications Authority, that has met its targets for three years-running. As a result the regulator has raised all of its fines this year.

Telecom firms have traditionally paid a flat fee of Sh500,000 ($4922.76) for failing to  meet its Quality of Service (QoS) standards. The new rules mean that a fine of 0.1 per cent of gross annual turnover is levied on every company infringing the rules.

Safaricom has objected to the new rules.In its Sustainability Report released this week said: “It should be noted that we, along with other Kenyan mobile network operators, have expressed concerns regarding the QoS measures used by the CA.”

Safaricom seemed to think that meeting 80% of its quality benchmarks should mean that it should be free of fines – a view that the regulator does not share.