Malawi subscribers test new 3.75G
TELECOMS| July 23, 2012, 11:17 a.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
Mobile phone users in Blantyre, Malawi, have expressed satisfaction with the newly launched 3.75G network launched last week by Airtel Malawi. However, they have expressed concern that the service will downgrade over time.
Airtel hailed it as the fastest mobile browsing with the widest coverage in Malawi.
Airtel Malawi officials said this is an upgrade from the current 3G data service to a 3.75G network - a third generation mobile network which offers faster information transfer.
Stuart Palika, a teller with one of the commercial banks in Blantyre's Central Business District, says he is hesitant to express his full satisfaction with the service.
"These service providers always bring such incentives, which only work wonders for the first few months before starting misbehaving," he said.
Palika says when Airtel and TNM introduced 3G for example, at first internet was fast and it was such a joyous experience to browse.
"A few months later, things were not the same and both service providers gave a lot of excuses," he said.
At the launch of the 3.75G network infrastructure in Blantyre last week, the Minister of Information, Moses Kunkuyu said the upgrade as a revolution to mobile internet users as they will now access information on their handsets and other mobile devices even faster than before.
"The issues of internet are no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity because it is proving to be a focal point of any aspect of development in the world hence the need to make it easily accessible through such latest technologies which improve internet speeds even in Malawi," he said.
At the event Airtel announced that it is extending its 3.75G services to other districts in Malawi other than just concentrating in the main cities.
At the moment the company says Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Mangochi, Karonga, Kasungu, Salima, Zomba and Kasungu are the areas with 3.75G coverage.
"The upgrade to 3.75G means Airtel will now provide the fastest data speeds in the country. Airtel will offer maximum internet speeds of up to 21Mbps (megabits per second) from the current maximum of 7.2Mbps, The improved technology will allow users to make video calls, fast download of movies and music, watch live streaming of events, fast uploads and downloads of information, fast access to social media pages and mails from their mobile devices," explained Airtel Malawi's managing director, Saulos Chilima.
Airtel has invested USD5.2m to upgrade its network infrastructure to 3.75G.
The company's 3.75 G network upgrade comes just a few months after Airtel Malawi was awarded the Best Mobile Data Operator accolade in Southern and East Africa in December 2011 by the African Telecom People.
However, subscribers say Airtel should stop honking its horn too much and start maintaining quality services.
"What they preach and what they do at their business centres must be the same," complained journalist Chiyangazo Phinda at the ceremony.
She said she has had problems with Airtel Blackberry services and even her efforts to seek assistance at their Nico Centre premises paid no dividends.
"The system keeps removing my airtime from my account even when the previous subscription is still running," she said.
Phinda says if the company is failing on these small areas then they should do better with the 3.75G network platform.
"I understand this is more sophisticated," she said.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
MTN to empower African businesses with AWS Direct ConnectMTN Group today announced it would be the first African company to offer Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to business customers across multiple countries on the continent. Read More
MTN leads in Cameroon with 11.2 million usersThe third-quarterly verdict delivered last week by ART, the Cameroon telecom regulator, shows that MTN had 11.2 million users in Cameroon by 30 September 2014, and is therefore the leader of the mobile market in this Central African nation of 20 million people. Read More
MTN is Ivory Coast mobile market leaderWith eight million subscribers out of a population of 22 million, South Africa’s mobile operator MTN has claimed the title of mobile market leader in Ivory Coast. Read More
TNM constructs bridge as part of promotionTelekom Networks Malawi Limited (TNM) has constructed a bridge in the country’s former Capital City of Zomba as part of a promotional activity the company launched last year. Read More
Telecoms operators donate K20.5 m towards flood victimsMalawi's Association of Telecommunications Operators (ATOL) has donated K20.5m towards the relief assistance going to communities affected by floods and hailstorm in the country Read More
Airtel Kenya drops roaming rates in UgandaAirtel customers can now browse for as low as Ksh 10 per MB while roaming in Uganda, a 78% drop in price. Read More
MTL appoints new CEOMalawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) has appointed Harry Gombachika as its new Chief Executive Officer with effect from January 6, 2015. Read More
MTN transforms enterprise business unit in South Africa to enhance overall client experienceMTN South Africa has announced the start of a process to reorganise its MTN Business unit, to strengthen its competitive advantage in the enterprise business solutions market. Read More
Vodafone Foundation Ghana donates new incubator to hospitalVodafone Foundation Ghana on Tuesday donated a brand new incubator to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Nsawam Government Hospital at Nsawam in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Read More
M-Shwari loans help customers acquire smart devicesFollowing a month of trials, the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom have formally introduced a new proposition that will enable M-Shwari customers to access affordable loans to acquire smartphones and tablets. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSAlbany CTG, Microsoft, collaborate on School of Government Program
The University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has announced its collaboration with Microsoft Corporation to deliver executive level training to government leaders in Africa ...VMware reports fourth quarter and full year 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014.