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By Michael Malakata , IDG News Service
The Communications Authority of Zambia (CAZ) has threatened to invoke specific clauses contained in mobile service providers’ licenses if they fail to improve service within three months.

Mobile service providers in Zambia are stealing from subscribers through the provision of poor services, according to the CAZ.

The quality of service of the mobile phone providers in Zambia is disappointing, CAZ acting CEO Richard Mwanza told journalists Tuesday. Many Zambians are losing money to mobile service providers that are failing to complete calls or dropping calls mid-minute and charging for the full minute, he said.

In addition to invoking clauses that would be detrimental to service providers, the CAZ is proposing a law that will require greater compensation from operators that provide poor services.

In January, the CAZ surveyed mobile service providers and found that companies were failing to meet the minimum service levels set by the regulator for a successful call rate of 95 percent.

Zain of Kuwait, MTN of South Africa and the government-run CellZ offer mobile service in the country. The service providers have promised to improve their networks; however, Mwanza said Zain’s network quality has remained disappointing.

The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.