Puzzle of CA’s conflicting data on quality of telcos’ services

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The communications sector regulator has released conflicting data on the quality of telecoms services, raising questions about the integrity and reliability of its statistics.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) last week released its Quality of Service (QoS) report for the year ended June 2016, contradicting data in its 2015/16 annual report covering the same period and subject matter.

The net effect of the differences is that scores for all the operators improved significantly.

While the CA in its annual report said Safaricom , Airtel and Telkom Kenya had scored an overall 50 per cent in QoS, the latest data shows the three telcos had an average score of 70.8 per cent.

In both reports, the operators failed to meet the overall pass mark of 80 per cent.

The CA had not responded to our queries on the discrepancies by the time of going to press.

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Each year, the CA measures the quality of service provided by telecom operators along eight key indicators, including the amount of time it takes to set up a call as well as the voice of quality of these calls. The regulator levies hefty fines for failing to meet QoS standards and last year the operators all paid a collective Sh311 million.

Telecom operators have long raised concerns about the methodology used by CA in collecting its data as well as the accuracy of the data.

The agency is also currently reviewing its methodology with an eye towards using new tools and expanding the purview of the QoS study to include data and SMS services.

While all three companies were previously non-compliant with the minimum requirements for the call set-up rate in the annual report, the latest QoS survey indicates that they all hit the minimum score of 95 per cent on this measure.

One of the biggest discrepancies between the two sets of data was in the call completion rate (CCR) and call drop rate (CDR) for Safaricom. The telco, for instance, initially had a CCR of 85.6 per cent but this jumped to 91.80 per cent.

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