By Abdul Rahman Bedor
The National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) has given a twenty-one day ultimatum to all cell phone companies, but Airtel in particular, to improve on their networks which expired about a fortnight ago.
This medium gathered from the regulatory body of GSM operators in the country that plans are underway to allocate new spectrums to companies that have applied and paid to the Commission to improve on their services but that this will take some time to be completed.
The source continued that before the spectrums are allocated to radio stations and cell phone companies, they must present an inventory of equipment to the Commission for inspection to meet international standards.
Customers in various parts of the country have complained over the past several months of poor reception and that it seems as if NATCOM is not up to the task of controlling the companies as the anomalies in their operations become worrisome in emergency situations for which they appealed to the authorities to swiftly intervene and save them.
The customers continued that in other countries, phone companies are forced to compensate customers for depriving them of their right to communicate and urged NATCOM to levy a fine on defaulters for poor quality service, underscoring that the relevance of communication need not be overemphasized.
Mr. Abass Koroma, a top-up seller mobile phone credit seller in Freetown said that he finds it very difficult to transfer vouchers to customers during peak periods and reiterated the call for cell phone companies to compensate customers for poor quality service.
He cited the Telecommunications Act 2006 thus: “compensation to subscribers in case service is denied or interrupted due to an act or omission of the service provider; (h) access to the Commission for redress of his grievances, if he/she fails to get satisfaction from the operator” and concluded that this clause has never been enforced by the Commission.