Mobile Week with GSM

December 20, 2009

Subscribers bemoan operators on promo, as networks collapse

By Nnamdi Ojiego

Subscribers of different telecom networks in the country are crying foul over the collapse of network in the face of a growing promotional activities by almost all the operators.

The subscribers say, that for the operators to keep dishing out one form of promo after another even when they know that their networks can not carry it shows that there is more to the genuiness of such promos.

A cross section of subscribers who bared their minds to Vanguard Mobile Week expressed displeasure over what they called indirect extortion by GSM operators, poor quality of service etc.

The national president, National Association of Telecom Subscribers (NATCOMS), Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, said telecommunications promos are not necessary at a time when subscribers are still faced with poor quality of service. “

It is pretty difficult to make smooth calls without several drop calls and subscribers are billed for such calls. Instead of embarking on promotions, operators should use the money meant for promotions to roll out more services, deploy more base stations, do more of co-location and improve quality of service”.

Mr. Chika Onwukwe, a musician and film director said the quality of service of providers are nothing to write home about. He described the promos as stealing by pattern and queried “what is the need of promos when one cannot enjoy better services?,” he queried while urging the operators to think of how to improve on their services so that subscribers can fully enjoyed the benefit of GSM.

Similarly, Mr. Dim Chizoba, a manager said, the most annoying thing is that the operators deduct money for undelivered texts, especially from one network to another. He added that he has played severally in the promos without any thing to show for it.

Mr. Dim however, commended Globacom for their current ‘Talk 4 Free’ promo, where you can use N40 to make calls for a whole day, saying “it is a type of promo that benefits every subscriber.”  In her response, Mrs. Olufemi Ronke, a trader at Idumata said she used to participate in the promos but she has not won anything, and called on the NCC to monitor GSM players to ensure that they comply by the stipulations.

The subscribers accused GSM operators of allegedly turning promos into revenue spinning machine. Director-General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Peter Igho, recently revealed that “one of the telecom operators made profit of N2 billion from a lottery game and I do not think it gave up to N20 million to the public who played the lottery. Imagine the impact on the people if N1 billion had been given to the public as prizes won in the lottery.”

Meanwhile, Globacom was said to have committed over N555 million to its “ Text 4 Million” promo; Etisalat $1 million for its star prize in the “9gillion” promo; MTN N10 million to star prize winner of its promo including an all expenses paid trip to watch 2010 World Cup competition in South Africa; while Zain has said that it will give out N10 million as a grand prize in its on-going Zain Naira Rain Promo