Zambia: operators face stiff fines over service

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has fined the country's three mobile phone operators a total of ZMK3, 150, 000 million (about US$360,000) over poor service.

The regulator said MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and Zamtel have failed to adhere to the quality of service parameters.

According to a statement by ZICTA corporate communications manager Ngabo Nankonde, the operators have been fined for continued failure to improve call set up access rate, mean opinion score, success SMS rate, SMS delivery time and HTTP success log-ins.

A breakdown from ZICTA indicates that MTN Zambia and Zamtel have been fined K600, 000 each for failure to meet the set parameters on HTTP success log-ins and another K600, 000 each for failing to meet the set parameters on call set up success rate.

Moreover, Airtel Zambia has been fined K450, 000 for failing to meet the set parameters on call set up success rate and another K300, 000 for failing to meet the set parameters on HTTP success log-ins.

"The authority arrived at this decision following the quality of service inspection, followed by the public inquiry which was held on November 28 at which the mobile operators made submissions and presentations. During the period July 1st to September 30th, 2017, the authority conducted inspections with respect to quality of service by the three operators," Nankamba said.

The communications executive added, "As consumers may be aware, ICT Act number 15 of 2009 places an obligation on service providers to meet such minimum standards of quality of service as the authority may specify or publish".

Nankonde has since warned mobile network operators and other players in the ICT sector that the regulator will not hesitate to enforce the law on any operator breaching the parameter standards.

To date none of the operators, save Zamtel, have responded to requests for comment.

Zamtel corporate communications manager Kennedy Mambwe told ITWeb Africa that the company is in talks with ZICTA over the matter.

"We deal with regulatory matters administratively. They are not a subject of media discussion. The responsible department is dealing with the matter," Mambwe said.