Exam time for Zim telcos
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s mobile phone operators face stiff penalties for shoddy service, after the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority hired a consultant to carry out a national quality of service measurement audit.
It will be the first time such a survey has been carried out in the country on the three mobile operators in the country. The move comes amid increased instances of cross lines, dropped calls, slow Internet connectivity, high cost of service and the unavailability of networks.
Zimbabwe has three mobile phone operators; Econet, Telecel and the state-owned Netone. Mobile technology is the primary communication tool, with about nine million people owning at least a cellphone.
Potraz director-general Charles Sibanda said the audit was in response to increased public complaints over poor service by the mobile phone operators.
"This year, the authority intends to purchase its own equipment so that it can carry out QoS measurements regularly and penalise any operators with levels below acceptable standards, provided such poor quality is not caused by factors beyond the operator's control.
"As Potraz, we often do random checks to verify billing integrity and accuracy. So far, the tests we have carried out have shown that the operators are charging what was approved," said Sibanda.