Service that facilitate communication

Business studies study module

Services that facilitate communication include:

  1. Mailing services
  2. Telephone services
  3. Broadcasting services

Mailing services

This refers to handling of letters and parcels. They are offered organizations such as postal corporation of Kenya (P.C.K) securicorl courier and Document handling Limited (D.H.L)

Some of the services offered the postal corporation include:

Speed post: This is service offered the post office to send correspondence and parcels to a destination in the shortest time possible. The post office uses the quickest means of transport available to deliver the mail.

The sender pays the normal postage fee plus a fee for special service. An example of such a service is Expedited Mail Service(EMS) speed post

Ordinary Mail

These include surface mail and airmail.

Surface Mail: These include letters and parcels delivered road, rail, water and hand.

AirMail: This consists of letters and light parcels delivered air.

Express Mail;

An express mail is/must be presented at the post office counter the sender and the envelope clearly addressed and a label with the word “express” affixed. Normal postage plus an extra fee (commission) is charged

The mail is delivered to the receivers nearest post office from where the post office makeS arrangements to deliver the mail to the receiver within the shortest time possible.

NOTE: For speed post special arrangements to deliver the mail start at the sender’s post office whereas express mail, the arrangements start at the addressers post office.

Poste Restante;

This is a service offered the post office to travelers who may wish to receive correspondence right away from their post office box. The addressee has to inform those who may wish to correspond with him/her of the nearest post office he is likely to use at a particular time

Under this arrangement when addressing the letter, the words poste Restante must be written on the envelope clearly. The addressee must identify himself/herself when collecting the correspondence from the post office.

There is no additional charge made apart from normal postage charges. This service can only be offered for three months in the same town

Registered Mail;

This service is offered the post office for sending articles of value for which security handling is required. A registration fee and a commission is paid. The commission depends on the weight of the article and the nature of registration. The sender is required to draw a horizontal and a vertical line across the faces of the envelope.

A certificate of registration is given to the sender. In case of loss, the sender may be paid compensation on production of the certificate of registration.

A green card is sent to the recipient. The card bears his name and the post office  at which the mail was registered. The recipient will be required to identify himself before being allowed to posses the mail.

Items that may be registered include jewels, certificate, land title deeds e.t.c.

Business Reply Service;

This is a service offered the post office to business firms on request. The firm pays some amount to the post office and an account is then opened from which posted charges are deducted.

The service is useful/more common with firms which would like to encourage their customers to reply their letters. Customers are issued with reply card envelopes (or envelopes marked ‘postage paid’)

They can send letters to the business using these envelopes/the card. The customers then place the card/envelope in the post box and the firms post office branch will deduct postage charges from the lump sum amount.

Courier Services

These are services where a service provider receives transports and delivers parcels or important documents to destinations specified customers in return for payment of fees or charges.

Examples; Akamba bus service, Securicor courier services e.t.c

ii)Telephone services

  • Landline/fixed line services
  • Cellular (mobile)phone services

Land(Fixed)line services

Telkom Kenya, through the post office, provides telephone services which offer direct contact between people who are far apart. It makes conversation between people at any distance possible, as long as there are transmission facilities between them. Urgent matters can be discussed and consultations can take place so that instant decision or actions are taken. The telephone assists organizations to establish a fast and convenient machinery for its internal and external communication network.

Cellular(mobile)phone services

These are hand held telephones with digital links that use radio waves. They are sometimes called cell-phones since they use power stored in a dry cell

In Kenya mobile phone services are provided safaricom Ltd.(a subsidiary of Telkom Kenya)and Airtel communications Ltd(formally Kencel Communication Ltd)which is a joint venture between a French company and a Kenyan company, yu mobile services and Orange mobile services . This sector therefore greatly benefits from foreign investment to improve services.

The use of this service is popular. Apart from the provision of telecommunication service, cell phones have different attractive features or services such as short messages service (sms) wherea caller can send a written message. Recent models of mobile phones enable the user to access the internet and send e-mail messages

Advantages

  • They are portable
  • Written messages can be transmitted easily and cheaply through the short message service(sms)
  • Enables both local and international communication
  • The cost of acquiring the equipment is relatively affordable
  • Direct feedback is possible
  • Has memory for storing written messages
  • Has got e-mail capability

Disadvantages

  • Some kinds of mobile phones are expensive to buy
  • Maintenance expenses of a mobile phone are high. They are also susceptible to damage and repair can be very costly
  • Users are greatly inconvenienced in case there is no network coverage
  • A special facility where the callers identity is known(displayed on screen)can be abused where recipient does not wish to answer the call
  • Mobile phones are a security problem. They are easy targets for thieves
  • There is a danger of the radioactive rays or emissions negatively affecting the users health, if such emissions are not adequately controlled

iii) Broadcasting services

Communication commission of Kenya is a regulatory body that receives applications and issues licences for radio and television broadcasting stations.

Radio stations

Radio broadcasting is a very important mode of giving news and information to people in the whole world.

The liberalization of the communications sector in Kenya in 1999, Kenya has witnessed a mushrooming of F.m. Stations which are owned private sector operators e.g. Kiss Radio, Easy fm,Classic fm,Family fm,Kameme e.t.c

They have helped to spread news and information countrywide. Before liberalization, Kenya Broadcasting corperation (KBC) radio was operating as a state owned monopoly.

Television Stations

Television broadcasting (telecasting) does not reach as wide an audience as radio broadcasting in Kenya. It however serves the same purpose of relaying news and information to Kenyans. Both radio and television stations are widely used for advertising purposes.

The T.V subsector has been liberalized since 1999 and a number of privately owned stations have emerged e.g. Kenya Television Network (KTN) Nation Television, Family T.V etc. Prior to that time KBC television was in operation as a state owned monopoly.

Other services that facilitate communication

  • Telex
  • Facsimile
  • Paging
  • E-mail



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