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Network Failure: Nigeria cannot be reached at the moment

I must start by apologizing for not being available or accessible to all my friends and acquaintances, especially at crucial times. I have accepted to be ‘unavailable’ even when my status on Facebook shows am available. Blame it on the GSM networks.

Blame the Nigerian GSM networks for their poor service delivery that makes me swap simcards every three months or so, looking for good service delivery. I still have the picture of the early days of GSM in Nigeria when we climbed trees and hills looking for network service. These days they brought the new gist about network portability, a service that I hear is really terrible for those pioneer explorers trying it out.

The story goes that the various networks keep doing bogus promos for the gullible among us( recall the MTN recharge and win an airplane bull! Thank God for NCC’s intervention then of banning promos for a season) My major regret is still the fact that most of my acquaintances have my MTN number, a number that I use now only to answer calls, and rarely even send sms with the line. I jumped off their Blackberry service fast-messages dragged longer than snails crossing express roads. I tried Globacom at some point, hoping that the philanthropic heart of the billionaire owner Chief Mike Adenuga would be moved to stand true to their words of good, speedy service delivery and the implementation of  any promotional service across board to all and sundry.

I noticed that the networks are usually splendid in the ‘friendship’ centres set up by mobile telephony networks nationwide. The customer care is horrid. It is nice that people are paid to man the calls, but it is an utter waste of the caller’s time to sit through drab lying adverts waiting for ‘maintenance’, etc to answer your calls. This has been my experience recently with Etisalat Nigeria. My etisalat sim must need updating or something, as the codes are not working, the blackberry packages and their present costs differ from the cost of the same packages in the sim!

Since the day I chose the Etisalat blackberry package, ( after buying their Sim and enduring the ritual of introducing acquaintances to this new line-a friend once called out eight lines which were saved on his phone under my name! I couldn’t even remember half the numbers), I have not succeeded in renewing my blackberry plan by recharging and sending the activation code as prescribed in the fliers. Four months on, and things have not yet changed. I had to wake at 2am to call Customer care for Etisalat to get help with activating my blackberry package. I told the last customer care person that this would be the last time I would call or end up visiting an Etisalat office just to activate a BB plan.

Recently, I visited a Visaphone office that opened close to my studio at Ikota Shopping Complex, VGC, Lagos. Visaphone modem services have improved by leaps, and I saw that they have expanded package offers to include a Blackberry subscription plan. Most likely, I will use more of their services in the future. Their packages also are very pocket-friendly. We will see. Maybe sometime soon, one will stop seeing red to use GSM phones to communicate…maybe soon, you can reach me on only one line, send sms and emails or BB chats and be sure they got to me. Please reply if you can see this post. If it is not poor electricity, it is poor network. And we are still patronising the greedy service providers.

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