Lack of 3G signals for MTN and Airtel

I have been a rather frustrated librarian/information professional over the last few days. I attended a workshop at the Balme Library (University of Ghana, Legon) and although there was wifi, and the signal was good, I wasn’t able to access the internet. OK, I admit that this is probably due to some configuration on my own laptop, but on the other hand I did notice that others participants also had problems accessing the web.

And for a workshop on web-based software, that was a definite issue.

I had sort of anticipated that this could be an issue so on Day 1 I brought my Airtel/Zain modem. On the local radio stations here in Accra, one is constantly hearing that Airtel now has an ultra high-speed 3.75G network. Well, as a user, I have yet to see it. Certainly at Balme Library – on one of the upper floors – I didn’t have a good enough signal to even get onto my home page! Even in the area where I live, the signal is so-so: good in the mornings, especially on Sundays, and not terribly useful most of the rest of the time.

So on Day 2 of the workshop I decided to bring my MTN modem – which seems to work better, though I have to admit that I wasn’t totally optimistic, since I wasn’t sure whether the signal would be good enough. Why? Despite MTN’s ads that their 3G coverage is high, it certainly hadn’t been registering as such on my smartphone – at least while in the Balme Library!   Grrr…

Have I been able to do any browsing during this three day workshop? Well, the answer is no, not really. Again, no 3G and even the 2G allowed only minimal browsing on my phone, and almost none on my laptop. Sigh.

I end on a plea to the telecom operators: deliver what you promise!  We consumers are not stupid!

6 thoughts on “Lack of 3G signals for MTN and Airtel

  1. Sorry about that. The strange thing is that yesterday I called someone in Accra (from Abuja) and the call did not go through. I called several times it was still the same, in the end I gave up. I also subscribe to Airtel. Today, I called someone in Kenya to confirm some training that is supposed to take place next month, but again, after four calls I gave up as I simply couldn’t get through. Annoyingly, I left my other phone which uses Glo, at home. But I agree. The operators should get their act together.

    BTW. The builders have just started – again – to build the central library in Abuja. When I first moved here six years ago, it was just a foundation with iron rods protuding all over the place. Each time I drive past, I would ask when are they going to complete this? So let’s hope it continues, uninterrupted.

    • Wow – I do hope that Nigeria does finish their National Library. Here in Ghana the discussions and arguments and lobbying on and for a national library continue. It seems to be a never-ending saga which comes up at almost every Ghana Library Association meeting I have attended. And I am fairly sure it was an issue in the 1980s, and it still is.

  2. Me and my gf experience exactly the same! She has Airtel, I have MTN. In rush hours the connection is very bad! I also think that this is the strategy from this companies to react to heavy (or too much) traffic through rush hours.
    The problem is that media will never attack telcom companies, as they are advertising clients…

  3. The Telcos are obviously giving customers very short shrift. I mean one buys credit or not; there is no negotiation and then service is just plain unreliable….i abandoned MTN and Vodafone eons ago….I think Airtel is a lot better by miles but has its issues too….Sam is right about the media-telco complex ;(!!! The customer is entirely on his/her pitiable own!!!

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