Safaricom has promised to compensate its subscribers for dropped calls within its network, raising the quality-of-service bar for rivals in an increasingly competitive sector.
Subscribers who suffer dropped calls will get a short message (SMS) notification and thereafter receive airtime compensation worth one minute.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore on Wednesday said the compensation is limited to Safaricom-to-Safaricom calls.
The telecommunications firm has also moved to shield its customers from unsolicited subscriptions offered by third parties commonly known as content providers by introducing an app — My Subscriptions — that gives subscribers the ability to check which services they are subscribed to and opt out at will.
The unscrupulous content providers have been enlisting subscribers to their services without their consent or have failed to unsubscribe them when they want to opt out, and hence depleting their airtime or data bundles.
“Over the last years, we have invested an average of Sh30 billion a year to build the best network for Kenya. However, we are aware there is a great deal of opportunity to enhance the experience on our network,” said Mr Collymore.
The firm also introduced a service that will enable its customers to control data-bundle usage, allowing them to restrict browsing on out-of-bundles rates.
“This particular service was informed by feedback from our customers (to) help resolve instances where a customer’s data bundles run out and the network switches automatically to the more pricier airtime option when surfing the net,” said the Safaricom boss.
The launch of the new products comes shortly after a recent quality-of-service report by the industry regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), which showed none of the three mobile operators met the required threshold.
The CA report says Airtel, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya fell short of the 80 per cent target quality mark. The operators have not met the threshold for the third year in a row.
They all attained 62.5 per cent, as per the CA report.
The CA noted that all the three telecom operators will have to pay a penalty equivalent to 0.2 per cent of their gross turnover for offering poor-quality services to consumers in the year 2014-2015.
The report states that out of the eight parameters, all operators complied on handover, call set-up time and signal strength indicators. There was also a remarkable improvement on the quality of speech for all the operators.