The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Wednesday launched its Quality of Service Monitoring Network (QOS) designed to improve the mobile coverage and enhance competition within the industry.
The data obtained from this state-of-the-art technology, officials said, would be very realistic and reliable that customers can use to make informed choices.
The minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdou Kolley, in launching the project on behalf of the Information minister, hailed the impact technology has on the lives of the people. He pointed out that ICT has transformed people’s lives in the last decade, and that ten or twenty years ago, nobody would have envisioned the level of advancement that the world is witnessing in communication and The Gambia is not an exception. .
“Social media has redefined the way we do business and interact with each other,” he said. “In governance and regulation, we are witnessing citizen participation on national issues at levels never seen before.”
Minister Kolley said that most businesses have recognised that the customer is king, whether in the transport, energy, financial or other sectors, including the ICT sector.
It’s for this reason, he said, that providers of telecommunication services must strive to deliver high quality products and services to consumers in the sector.
The demand for high quality services by consumers, he said, has not only placed substantial pressure on operators, but has also precipitated to the manufacturers of the telecommunications network as well as terminal equipment, which, in his view is capable of providing acceptable quality.
He explained that the technological revolution that is characterized by the introduction of increasingly complex service developments of necessity requires increasingly complex devices and high grades of service where networks are needed for the implementation of these services. He added that this has in turn brought about serious challenges in the attainment of desirable quality of service.
“Customers on the other hand are oblivious of this quality of service challenges, but expect their demands to be met at reasonable, if not low, cost to them.”
The director general of PURA, Ansumana Sanneh, recalled that Section 83 of the IC Act 2009, called for licensed operators to offer effective and quality services in the telecommunication industry. PURA, he said, has brought significant improvement in the telecommunication industry in the country which has had an impact on quality of service.
“The industry’s growth had been mostly in the voice segment, but in the past few years, the demand for data has grown around the world,” he said. “In The Gambia, the demand for data is driven by availability of new online services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and growth in social media applications.”
Mr. Sanneh assured that PURA will now have the wherewithal to independently monitor the devices provided by the operators, whereas consumers could also determine what service they want.
William Shola Joiner, the project coordinator of West Africa Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme (WARCIP), said: “We are interested in seeing telecommunications move forward and indeed we will get there.”
He, therefore, called on everyone to use the facility as intended for.
by Bekai Njie