Subscribers groan as 4G LTE technology delivers narrow band
Telecommunications operators have been involved in the race for adoption of latest technology in service delivery from 2G to 3G and now 4G LTE. These migrations are aimed at delivering reliable and faster services be it voice or internet.
However, the extent to which subscribers feel the impact of such upgrade in terms of fast and reliable internet service has been a subject of debate as subscribers have been consistently faced with poor voice and internet service even with the latest 4G LTE believed to offer reliable and faster service.
A testimony to this is series of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) sanctions on operators for poor services. It would be recalled that the commission had suspended promos of some operators as a result of effects of such promo on quality of service delivered by those operators.
According to stakeholders that spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, ‘narrow band delivered to subscribers in the pretense of broadband fall short of what broadband internet should be, this is because, some of them are not using the required spectrum for 4G LTE service but rather using what they have to delivered the service. More so, they are not investing in the network to be able to deliver 4G LTE service because they don’t see the prospect of return on their investment with the prevailing economic situation in the country’.
Engr. Sam Adeleke, chief executive officer, Steineng Ltd, said that 4G LTE should give subscribers faster speed and bigger bandwidth without limit to what the subscriber can do with it, ‘but what we see in the market place today is the claim of unlimited service while pegging the subscriber on 60GB, what happens is that at the beginning the service will be fast by the time you are exhausting the 60gigabyte you were pegged at, the service will no longer be fast and you find it difficult to download some files.’
“This is not broadband. If we have broadband it means unlimited capacity and volume which is provided today in the country by very few operators. LTE broadband does not limit you. What we see in the industry is operators using existing technology to offer new service.”
He attributed the situation to lack of investment in the network to be able to deliver the required service and therefore urged Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to educate stakeholders on the required standard for broadband service.
Corroborating Adeleke, David Venn, chief executive officer, Spectranet, said that some operators were in a hurry to launch 4G LTE since they can’t get dollar to buy equipment and cannot get foreign or local funding to invest in the new network, they decided to use existing technology to offer new service that does not deliver required broadband service.
“Optimising a network for 4G LTE service is complex which requires five different bands, and the handset must work on the five different bands to be able to deliver effective service. What we see in the market is 4G in few bands not on the whole bands, that is why the service delivered is not broadband. Remember, those operators have not done it before, they will get it better as time goes by,” he said.
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