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Sierra Leone telcos sanctioned over QoS

Sierra Leone telcos sanctioned over QoS

All three telcos operating in Sierra Leone are to provide free on-net calls to their respective customers starting from 8 September. This is according to a directive from the country's telecom regulatory body, NATCOM, as a result of what it describes as the inability to improve on quality of service (QoS).

In accordance to the provision of the country's Telecommunication Act, the telcos were also fined for: "persistently providing poor services to consumers."

On Wednesday 30 Aug NATCOM levied varying fines totalling US$1.350,000 on the three MNOs - Airtel/Orange (US$750,000), Africell (US$400,000)and Sierratel (US$200,000).

The three-day free call arrangement was aimed at compensating customers who, in April, were made to agree to a call tariff increase from Le410 to Le650 following a meeting between civil society and NATCOM to discuss the issue of poor QoS.

The agreement was on condition that the tariff increment should enable the telcos to work on improving on their networks' quality in the coming four months.

However, according to NATCOM, the telcos failed to meet the KPIs agreed upon and within the given timeline of early August.

This is the first time that the country has imposed a mandatory free call option on telcos as a disciplinary measure.

The action has received a mixed response from the market, with some locals using social media to express their views stating what is actually required is a lower tariff, improved QoS and better Internet service. Others are even calling for the tariff to be reverted to its initial rate.

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