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MTN Suffers System Breakdown

Posted by By Ahmed I. Shekarau And Hamisu Muhammad, Daily Trust (Abuja) on 2005/10/08 | Views: 645 |

MTN Suffers System Breakdown

Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Nigeria may have suffered a major system break-down on its GSM Network early this week, leading to loss of network coverage on mobile phones of many of its subs-cribers in various parts of the country as from Wednesday to yesterday.

Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) Nigeria may have suffered a major system break-down on its GSM Network early this week, leading to loss of network coverage on mobile phones of many of its subs-cribers in various parts of the country as from Wednesday to yesterday.

Experts say this is a serious set back for the MTN Group's bid to buy Nigerian Telecommu-nications Limited (NITEL), in a privatisation exercise expected to be rounded up at the end of this month with the opening of financial proposals of six companies by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

But when contacted yesterday over the serious network difficulties encountered by subscribers to its GSM service, the Manager, Media Relations of MTN Nigeria, Andrew Okeleke denied that the problem results from collapse of its systems, saying that "it's as a result of upgrades on our pre-paid systems".

However, industry sources told Daily Trust yesterday those situations where subscribers lose network coverage on their phones result from "systemic failure" on a network.

Several subscribers who expressed their stong displeasure at the "frustrating" network problems which they say they have been encountering over the past one week, alleged that while some lost network coverage completely, others face huge difficulties making calls, recharging their phones as well as checking balances on the MTN GSM platform, among other services.

A visibly angered subscriber, Mr. Kumtong Peter while lamenting the loss of network on his GSM handset, urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to move in "immediately and compel these MTN guys to compensate all its subscribers who have lost millions of Naira in view of their inability to make and receive calls on their lines because of this obvious neglect on the part of the company".

Shehu Mohammed who also expressed similar sentiments said, "it is only today (yesterday) that I loss network on my handset, but I haven't made a single call on my phone in the past three days".

Another MTN subscriber who prefers to remain anonymous said he had to buy a Glo line yesterday and quickly text the new number to many of his contacts to avoid losing calls he said he was expecting

Many more MTN subscribers expressed varying degrees of displeasure over the prevailing situation on the company's GSM network, and urged the regulatory authorities to check such "arrogance and arbitrariness" by any GSM service provider.

Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria said in a one-page statement made available to Daily Trust via email yesterday that "in the process of carrying out these upgrades all possible precautions are being taken to ensure flawless service to all our customers at all times. Work is carefully planned and is primarily executed after midnight, when the effect of any unintentional disruption of service to customers would be minimized. "

The company said that the upgrade is "in fulfillment of its pledge to ensure world-class quality network in Nigeria," stressing that it is also "to improve the current pre-paid service offerings."

It said further that "on completion, the new system would ensure that customers encounter smooth and uninterrupted recharging transactions on the network. It would also ensure flawless accessibility of credit balances by customers."

The MTN stated that "hundreds of such upgrades take place as a matter of normal business, with customers usually being totally unaware", but that while "all possible efforts are made to minimize the effect of any problems that may occur during the upgrade activities, it is not impossible the customers would experience some problems when recharging their phones within this period the exercise will last."

Also, it said, "being a centralized system, the effect of the upgrade exercise will not be limited to any specific geographic area. The effect could affect any pre-paid customer anywhere on the network. While all possible precautions are being taken to ensure the smoothness in accessing Pre-Paid airtime balances, any error that may occur can and will be detected and promptly corrected by the systems".

But most of the customers who spoke to Daily Trust maintained that the company has not in any way proved that it has detected their problems, neither did it correct various errors that have occurred on their respective efforts to make and receive calls, as well as re-loading their phones.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown