Surging mobile internet demand straining African telecom networks

Telecom companies in the Middle East and Africa could face growing quality of service (QoS) issues in future because of a rise in internet usage fueled by more affordable smart mobile devices.

Mahmoud Samy -- area head Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan at Arbor Networks -- told the Trade Arabia publication that the Mideast and Africa could see a 31% traffic leap on consumer internet by 2017 from a 10% growth level in 2012.

Samy added that this could pile pressure on telecommunication companies on the continent to expand their networks and maintain quality services.

He said African telcos’ failure to improve QoS could result in service level agreement credits, damage to brand reputation and customer churn - all of which impact the bottom lines of their business.

In Nigeria and Kenya, telecommunication companies have already been put on the spot over poor quality services.

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has released a report for the 2012-2013 period that highlights how none of the East African nation’s mobile operators have met quality of service benchmarks.

It is a similar state of affairs in Nigeria where the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has previously fined mobile operators such as MTN for alleged poor quality of service.

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