Malawi mobile service providers urged to improve their services

Government on Wednesday cautioned all mobile service providers in the country to improve the quality of their service delivery.

Minister of Information, Brown Mpinganjira, made the call in Lilongwe when he officially opened the 47th AFRALTI Governing Council Meeting.

Mpinganjira noted with concern that despite the tremendous growth that as a country has registered in telecommunications sector, especially mobile phone industry, the services still leave a lot to be desired.

“The costs of making a call in Malawi as well as in many AFRAITI’s members’ states remain quite high and beyond the reach of the ordinary subscribers.

Mpinganjira: Made the call

Mpinganjira: Made the call

“There is also a lot of work to be done in connecting millions of our people in the region to the technological marvel that is the internet,” observed the Minister.

He, therefore, urged all service providers to find ways of reducing the exorbitant costs of services that the consumer has to bear as well as making sure that they provide good services.

The Minister further noted that for Malawi to develop there was need to advance in the communication sector, hence the relevance of AFRALTI in our country as it provides training to our stuff in the telecommunications sector.

In an interview after the function, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) Board Chair, Martha Kwataine, said as an implementing agency, it was their role to make sure that all people in the country had a universal access to ICT facilities.

“For example, we have the tele-centres projects whose aim is to ensure a universal access to ICT services to all.

“Recently, you have seen more mobile services providers coming in; this entirely means that we as MACRA are trying our best to make sure that access to ICT services is given to all people,” she said.

In terms of pricing, the Board Chair said there was need for a comprehensive approach towards it ,saying there were a lot of factors to be considered especially the issue of taxation on the service providers

On the performance and consumer satisfaction, she said MACRA has reduced the number of years for the validity of a license that they were giving out to the service providers.

“Initially we used to give out licenses that were valid for 15 years, but recently we have started giving out licenses that are valid for 10 years only.

“In the license agreements, we have put in place issues like foster performance so that people do not relax, we will also be having a three year feedback assessment to check on how they are doing,” explained Kwataine.

Kwataine further asked consumers to demand their rights from the providers whenever they see that they are not satisfied.

The 47th Meeting of the AFRALTI run for three days and had brought together people from different countries who were members of AFRALTI from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, and many more.

AFRALTI is a recognized centre of excellence in telecommunications trainings in the continent.

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