Telcos to Answer Calls in 20 seconds as The Communications Authority of Kenya Declares Tough Guidelines

The Communications Authority of Kenya has stepped up its attempts to protect consumer interests in the communications sector. According to The Communications Authority of Kenya, consumers can block all marketing SMS messages sent to their phones while requiring telcos to refrain from sending promotional messages to customers who opt not to receive them. The regulations also require that telcos not send the said messages at night. The Communication Authority of Kenya guidelines also states that telcos will have to answer customer calls in 20 seconds or less.  

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This move comes after The Communications Authority of Kenya acknowledged the plight of customers who face exorbitant waiting minutes to talk to customer care representatives; if they ever get connected to one! The guidelines which will come into effect in 2023, 12 months from publication, are set to protect consumers from unfair treatment such as abuse of SMS promotional messages and unreliable customer care.

The move follows another customer protection package that seeks to reduce the calling rate to a flat rate of 0.58 cents for calls to all networks. 

According to a statement by The Communication Authority of Kenya: Until the rates change again, telcos agreed on an interim mobile termination cost and a set termination rate.

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The Communication Body of Kenya and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) released a statement announcing a mutually agreed-upon interim Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) and Fixed Termination Rate (FTR) of Sh0.58.

“The revised interim rate went into effect on August 1, 2022. The Authority will swiftly approve a new MTR and FTR when the Network Cost Study concludes.” According to The Communications Authority.

The MTRs are the fees that mobile service providers levied against one another for calls between networks. MTR was to be reduced from Sh0.99 to Sh0.12 starting in 2022 under a CAK directive issued in December of that year. However, one of the network service providers, Safaricom, went to court to contest the order because they believed the verdict to be unlawful.

According to a decision from the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal handed down on Friday, August 5, the tariffs ought to be lower.

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