By S.U. Thoronka.
The Chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Mr. Momoh Konte has noted that mobile companies operating in the country have failed to reach KPI (Key Performance Indicators) set out by the regulatory body.
He made this statement at a press briefing held in the conference room of NATCOM at Hill Station in Freetown yesterday to inform the public about the performance of both Airtel and Africell mobile companies.
Mr. Konte said that four months ago, NATCOM and the mobile companies had a Private Public Partnership dialogue at the Bintumani Hotel where it was agreed that prices be increased from Le 410 per unit to Le 650 per unit but with a caveat that the quality of service should be improved. At that meeting, Mr. Konte furthered that the service providers made an undertaking to improve upon their service.
The Chairman of NATCOM informed that prior to the agreement by the mobile companies, his commission lacked monitoring machines to carry out technical/scientific investigation, but none the less they were able to store the necessary data that could enable them to ascertain as to whether there was compliance by the mobile companies.
Mr. Konte said although the two companies did not meet the bench mark but according to his comparative analysis one company performed better than the other.
According to the NATCOM Chairman there are three key factors that impact negatively on the coverage and the quality of service and these include the different brand of mobile phones, the 3G shrinking site and failure by the mobile companies to make use of the fibre optic.
Mr. Konte promised to continue monitoring the performance of mobile companies for better service especially at a time when the appropriate monitoring machines are now available at NATCOM.
He promised in his endeavour not to lose sight of the important role foreign investment plays in the economy and the creation of jobs for Sierra Leoneans.
A Civil Society representative in his presentation praised NATCOM for the acquisition of a monitoring machine to detect compliance and non compliance in the communication industry. He said as consumers they are yet to realize value for money in the service delivery from one of the companies.
The Chairman of the Oversight Committee on Information and Communications in Parliament, Hon. Binneh Bangura opined that the data collected by NATCOM on the performance of the mobile companies was for subscribers in the Western Area.
He, however, promised to take a trip up country with his committee members to ascertain whether they are receiving value for money. He said although mobile companies did not meet the threshold, nonetheless they are working hazardously to meet their obligation.