Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says implementation of the Consolidated Information and Communications Technology Regulatory Management System (Cirms) is set to roll out in three months following the lifting of a court order obtained by one of the operators, TNM.
On Thursday, the High Court in Zomba vacated TNM’s order that stopped the regulator from using Cirms, widely known as the spy machine.
Briefing journalists in Blantyre on Tuesday on the Cirms court ruling, Macra director general Godfrey Itaye said the regulator is now in the process of implementing the software without delays.
He said: “We have already written all operators, including TNM, requesting for data to implement the system. And once this is done, we should be able to roll out after 90 days and the contract [with the supplier] has since been renewed to the next three years.”
Itaye added that with Cirms in use, the regulator will be able to get revenue assurance from operators as well as having firsthand information on quality of service from phone service providers.
To operators, Itaye said Cirms will enable them to realise increased revenues as bypass calls will be put in check with less frequency interference while at the same time generating more revenue to the government.
TNM obtained a stay order earlier this year stopping Macra from implementing the system, arguing Macra’s decision to implement Cirms was unreasonable because there was no legal framework for its implementation.
Since its introduction about six years ago, Cirms has faced resistance from operators who branded it “the spy machine”.
Macra argues that Cirms will improve its regulatory monitoring functions in four key areas of quality service, revenue assurance, fraud management, and spectrum allocation and management.