Tounge and Cheek

Tongue in cheek

Anon. E. Mouse

Dear Mobile Service Provider…

Did you know that you are exacerbating the problems that we are currently experiencing in Sunny South Africa with the long periods that we must suffer without any network coverage?

Let me explain: Eskom ensures loadshedding, which in turn leads to water pumps not working – lack of electricity, see- and no electricity means no mobile phone coverage which in turn leads to excessive frustration because no-one can report the absence of water in the taps nor the fact that there’s no bloody signal, either. This leads to less productivity because no-one can work, more stress and sedatives, or the organic alternative that is legal, which ensures that we have less money to spend on, say, for example, vegetables and data.

Sans the loadshedding at the moment, the networks are still down for long periods of time. So, now we have water and electricity, but no coverage. It boggles the mind that in an age where communication is paramount for the productivity of the masses, we cannot communicate. What is the use then of having a cell phone, tablet or laptop? Maybe we should make use of homing pigeons.

In a recent article featured on The South African website, My Broadband Insights hosted a survey, ranking the five mobile networks and service providers in South Africa. “The survey – which judged the networks based on their download and upload speeds – was conducted over a three-month period and featured almost 400 000 different factors for its evaluation,” Tom Head wrote.

The question: Which mobile network is the best in South Africa? The answer: “Well, we can tell you that life’s good for MTN customers. The communication titans came out top for both fields, taking the coveted title of “best network”. After major investment and a comprehensive rollout of its 3G & 4G coverage, the company managed to pip nearest rivals Vodacom to top-spot. Vodacom have to make do with second, despite giving MTN a good run for their money.”

“Newcomers Rain – a data-only network – sit slap-bang in the middle of the ratings, finishing third-best in every field. This left Telkom and Cell C to battle it out for the wooden spoon.  Despite having the worst upload speed out of all five mobile networks, Telkom’s slightly better latency and download speed secured fourth place. Cell C is the bottom of the pile because their latency is almost 40% slower than MTN’s. In fact, it would take you nearly twice as long to download something on South Africa’s “worst performing” network than it would on its “best performing” one.” And so on and so forth.

I need to ask: Really? You could have fooled me, but I guess personal opinion doesn’t count when a survey conducted hails you the best. Unfortunately, no surveys will convince me when I have experienced the exact opposite. To alleviate my problems, I shall purchase a sim card for each of the network operators that I do not have. Now I just need a sponsor for all the cell phones and airtime/data costs…

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