Since last Friday June 15th 2012, the country’s biggest GSM mobile phone company, AIRTEL, has been providing totally haphazard services to its customers. Both their Internet Data services and the Voice phone services have been offline most of the time. No tangible explanation was given to customers other than an SMS text apology on Saturday morning followed by a resumption of NO SERVICE.
Worst of all, AIRTEL Customer Service numbers were off. Indeed, it has been very poor service provision by AIRTEL for several weeks now but last Friday’s was the worst.
It does not appear as if there is a National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) in Sierra Leone. NATCOM does not seem to be on top of the situation. NATCOM should be doing more than donating water bowsers to Guma under the guise of ‘corporate social responsibility’. It is also not enough to invite journalists to dinners to win cheap popularity.
We have not read the 2007 Law which created NATCOM but is there a way for Parliament or the President to sack all NATCOM Commissioners for incompetence? Considering how badly AIRTEL has been treating its customers under the watchful eyes of NATCOM, the Commissioners seem pretty useless.
They must be carpeted.
AIRTEL boasts of being the largest GSM network with the widest national coverage. So, imagine if last Friday’s abrupt, unexplained outage of Airtel service happens on Elections Day and most people are rendered virtually incommunicado? Can we imagine the ensuing chaos? Someone somewhere should do something now. This is totally, totally unacceptable.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.