Safaricom - 2020 Sustainable Business Report

SAFARICOM 2020 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS REPORT 40 INTRODUCTION OUR BUSINESS OUR MATERIAL TOPICS OUR STAKEHOLDERS CONCLUDING REMARKS Network regulatory compliance The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is mandated by the Kenyan Government to ensure that mobile network operators are delivering services of adequate quality. A new mandate for checking this performance was passed in 2018, when the Authority created a new Quality of Service (QoS) framework that aims to provide more robust measures of network availability in Kenya. The framework is has created a more decentralised gathering of information and employs the use of repeated testing to establish performance, which is an improvement on the previous methodology. Accordingly, the CA tests every operator against a series of Quality of Service (QoS) measures it has developed. Operators that fail to meet any of these criteria are fined. The results of these tests are made public and published on the CA website. New QoS measurement framework In 2018, the CA introduced a new framework for the measurement of the QoS of Kenyan mobile networks. The framework is expected to be fully adopted over three years. During this transitional period, the CA has not levied or imposed any fines on mobile network operators. We have been engaging with the regulator extensively regarding the metrics of the new framework throughout this transitional period. The new QoS framework has three key focus areas: • Network performance (measuring stability and availability using data automatically submitted from operator systems) • End-to-end quality of service (measured through drive tests and walk tests, where the threshold is 80 per cent) • Quality of Experience (QoE) (using surveys to establish customer satisfaction with the performance of the network). As well as assisting the regulator to define the performance metrics, the industry has been involved in designing and weighting the qualitative indicators included in the QoE survey questionnaire. Subscriber registration guidelines Despite national SIM penetration levels of over 116%, more customers continue to join mobile networks in Kenya. In the awareness that SIM registration trends continue to shift, and with the objective of curbing SIM fraud, the Communications Authority issued Subscriber Registration guidelines for stakeholder consultation during the year. The guidelines enhance existing regulations, build more robust procedures and focus on curbing SIM card fraud. Safaricom in collaboration with other mobile network operators participated in a workshop with the Authority to discuss the provisions. Further, we made a joint submission to the Authority on behalf of all the operators. The regulator was receptive to our proposals and has incorporated the same in the revised guidelines. Spectrum management guidelines Spectrum is a national resource that is allocated by the Communications Authority via their mandate as provided for in the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA), 1998. Current regulations state that spectrum can allocated to any licensed player, regardless of their customer size or intended use. In recognition of the fact that Kenya’s telecommunications space continues to evolve, the Communications Authority issued draft guidelines to govern the management and oversight of Spectrum usage and allocation in Kenya for public review. The proposed guidelines are set to enhance clarity and streamline the process for allocating spectrum. Safaricom alongside other industry players submitted their views for the consultation and are awaiting their feedback in the next FY. Budget 2020 and the Finance Act As part of our annual responses to the Budget and corresponding amendments to the Finance Act, we attended stakeholder workshops and made submissions through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the GSMA regarding our expectations on proposals for budget planning in the forthcoming government financial year. In partnership with the GSMA and other Kenyan operators, we published a report on the impact of tax policies on the growth of the mobile sector in Kenya. The report discovered the various elements that influence the growth of mobile networks globally, and recognised that the sector remains a key contributor for the Government of Kenya. However, striking the right balance between tax revenue maximisation, and incentivising investment and economic growth remains key for the sector’s continued growth. Closing access gaps around the country As part of the initiative to use the Universal Service Fund (USF) to close access across the nation, we constructed and commissioned another three 2G-enabled Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in underserved, remote areas during the year. The USF was created to support widespread access to ICT services and the ‘2G gap’ initiative aims to ensure that that there is mobile voice and data coverage in even the most