ZICTA should punish erring mobile phone operators
Published On September 30, 2021 » 1797 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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FOR some time now, citizens have been complaining of poor quality of services offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
Debatably, most MNOs usually focus more on market promotions instead of providing quality services to subscribers.
For instance, subscribers usually complain of unstable internet and poor network during peak hours.
This is why we agree with Science and Technology Minister Felix Mutati on the need for MNOs to introduce best international practices and innovations to improve the telecommunications sector in Zambia.
In recent times, subscribers have been complaining of shoddy services by MNOs which fail to live up to the expectations of the public.
As subscriber base expands, mobile operators need to invest in system upgrades to live up to the expectations of the public.
As the minister observed, it is important for mobile service providers to offer quality service to customers.
The minister’s observation that lack of quality of service and adopted best practices contributed to the sector not adding enough to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is worrisome.
It is regrettable that the sector is currently contributing less than five per cent to the country’s GDP.
We appeal to the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to take Mr Mutati’s concerns seriously and penalise erring MNOs to instill public confidence.
According to licence conditions for MNOs, ZICTA is mandated to carry out investigations if five per cent of subscribers from a particular network provider experience network outages or poor service.
ZICTA should not spare operators especially those which are not making efforts to improve their services.
It is a fact that quality of service is fundamental in the function of investment by mobile service operators.
President Hakainde Hichilema has made science and technology a fully-fledged ministry to tackle technological challenges faced in the ICT sector and so we appeal to mobile operators to take advantage of this gesture from the highest office of the land.
Improved connectivity and quality levels of handsets being imported in the country need to be checked to ensure quality of service.
We expect ZICTA to effectively collaborate with players in the industry to contribute to ICT’s contribution to the economy.
On the other hand, we are of the view that ZICTA should come up with ways of encouraging investments in the ICT sector.
For instance when a given operator applies for a licence, ZICTA should be able to attend to such applications speedily instead of dragging its feet.

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