By Shingirai Vambe
Zimbabwe mobile network operator, Netone Cellular recently suffered a backlash from its network users after introducing a US$10 up for grabs on its X page formerly twitter.
“We are posting random $10 airtime on this platform at 1537hrs. stay glued” wrote Netone on its page.
Surprisingly, to this day, 411 people and or consumers have since responded to this offer airing their dissatisfaction with the network by the service providers. Network provision has been a challenge across all networks in Zimbabwe.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has partnered with the Postal Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) on the challenges that have been experienced in the telecoms sector, still there is no change rather getting used to the status quo.
Here are some of the comments on Netone X page, Eeze World… 10 more gigs ukadzipedza ndokutengera dzimwe. Network ye Netone haibude muworkshop, inogadzirwa month in month out. (10 more gigs, if you finish, will buy you more, Netone network is always in the workshop month in month out) wrote another subscriber.
Another subscriber, Terry Jr. WeMasvingo “Their network is rubbish, I regret buying 10gb bundle this month, I can’t even stream live videos on some platforms due to continuous hiccups” wrote Terry.
Earlier POTRAZ Director General, Gift Machengete told the media that network providers were raising issues to do with electricity, citing the high cost of running on Generators. However even when there is electricity, mobile network and internet service provision remains a challenge in Zimbabwe, failing to match with the demands of the new world order.
While this is happening, there is no compensation of voice or internet data to the consumers.
Machengete urged service providers to implement the green energy module, use of solar in various sub stations and boosters will help in network connectivity. He said renewable energy in this digital era move side by side and network providers must adopt and adapt to the changes.
Other network providers said the cost of airtime in still low in Zimbabwe hence some of the challenges met, consumers think the cost of data or mobile credit in Zimbabwe is still very high and at that cost they expect a better service to be rendered.
The media also air the same sentiments in execution of their day-to-day business, they need constant and fast network connectivity.