12 August 2014

Uganda: Customers Complain About MTN, Airtel Charges

Photo: AllAfrica
MTN one of the phone operating companies in Uganda.

More people subscribed to MTN and Airtel networks were unsatisfied with the way they were being billed, an industry survey has pointed out.

A quality of services survey released last week by the Uganda Communications Commission, the telecom industry regulator, found that among all, MTN and Airtel received the highest complaints.

"In the period under review, MTN and Airtel received the highest number of complaints on billing and unsolicited messages," said the report for the period between February and June 2014. The two companies have the highest number of customers, and account for more about three quarters of the market.

MTN says it has reached 10 million subscribers while Airtel says it has more than eight million.

UCC said it had received 77 complaints but managed to resolve and close 68 of them. Nine are pending. MTN had the highest successful call rate while Warid came second. Warid was surveyed because its licence was never terminated even after the company was taken over by India's Bharti telecom.

According to Isaac Kalembe, UCC's publicist, Warid and Airtel operate as independent entities although managed by the same group. Orange came third while UTL and Airtel had the least successful call rates. All networks had success call rates of above 75 per cent, the UCC noted.

"At least 40 per cent of network failures were attributed to fibre cuts, battery and fuel thefts," the survey pointed out.

It added: "Unstable power supply and insufficient power backup systems had a significant impact on performance of the Uganda Telecom Limited network in Kampala and western region coupled with incidents of copper cable cuts and thefts at site."

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the failures were attributed to internal network technical deficiencies that included poor planning, hardware failures, and delays in rectification of failures and outages.


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