The 4G LTE is the latest technology available for network service providers (although some parts of the world are already talking about 5G) with many of the Nigerian Networks claiming to have successfully migrated to the service and rolling out the unlimited packages to the users. Although many users don’t feel liberated from the shackles of the lower spectrum of 3G and even 2G yet.
Despite the various moves by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that service providers provide better services, including suspending a promo of one of the mobile operators, the user-experience feedback has not been impressive.
Data is kinda cheap in Nigeria, but it’s freaking slow. Like 3mb/s on 4g LTE
— Orie Areg (@OrissAreg_) September 2, 2017
According to some stakeholders, many of the service providers don’t actually offer quality broadband network. For instance, one of them said ‘…narrow band delivered to subscribers in the pretence of broadband fall short of what broadband internet should be. This is because some of them are not using the required spectrum for 4G LTE service but rather using what they have to deliver the service. More so, they are not investing in the network to be able to deliver 4G LTE service because they don’t see the prospect of a return on their investment with the prevailing economic situation in the country’.
The report reveals that many of the service providers use the same equipment to offer new services, which doesn’t meet up with the demand, and so fails to deliver as expected. In fact, the so-called unlimited data are actually limited, which is why after a while, the speed reduces; when the subscriber is close to exhausting the data. Consider the data map below as evidence.
Dear Telecos & ISPs in #Nigeria, U claim U provide 4G / LTE & the likes, how come #FB’s mapping shows us more of 2G? pic.twitter.com/g0ZkSPHFR7
— Damola Aji (@ajimatanrareje) September 2, 2017
This explains a lot, as is expected with using the wrong tools for a job. The NCC is expected to come in here, even as it tackles the production, sale, use and effect of substandard gadgets, it should also, more diligently, tackle the issue of substandard service due to substandard tools.
Technology is to be a growth to a better or the disruption of the former such as Mainone’s embracing of IPv6 and the moving away from IPv4. 4G should not limit users, but Nigerian voice and internet users are limited by yet another substandard version of the technology, even with the steadily increasing number of internet users. If Nigeria is to be recognised as a technologically advanced country, she will have to begin going for the best.
The service providers may have an argument though. According to David Venn, the Chief Executive Officer of Spectranet, right. According to him, another reason of this slack is that the upgrade is relatively new to the service providers. He believes they will get it right as time goes on.
Time will tell.
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