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Malawi: Consumer body fumes over poor tech service delivery

Malawi: Consumer body fumes over poor tech service delivery

The Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) has lambasted the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) and said it has failed to effectively address the issue of poor service delivery.

The consumer body corresponded with Macra in August and accused Telekom Networks Malawi and Airtel Malawi of poor service delivery, and urged the Regulator to protect consumers from exploitation.

Cama said Macra's delay in responding to concerns over network challenges was "annoying" and it is disheartened by the Regulator's inability to enforce its mandate to protect consumers.

However, Macra's Director General Godfrey Itaye responded stating that while the regulator is aware of the low quality of services by the two operators, it has engaged with them and that it will intervene at an appropriate time.

"Further, you may wish to know that the authority intends to launch the consolidated ICT management system (Cirms) in September 2017 which will assist the authority to regulate quality of service," Itaye said.

To date Telecom Networks Malawi has not commented on the accusations.

Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Kamoto has issued a statement claiming that his company has been implementing network upgrades in the country's cities before moving on to other regions, and this had impacted on service to customers.

"So far, 290 sites have been upgraded in the cities. With these upgrades, our 3G data services has expanded to areas that previously did not have coverage and more customers are now able to access our data services," Kamoto said.

He added that the company regrets that unforeseen challenges had resulted in intermittent dropped calls, silent calls and slower internet speeds in some cities.

Airtel Malawi is the country's largest operator with 55.9% market share followed by Telekom Networks Malawi with 43.7%, according to Macra.

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