Fix services first

16/03/2015 14:55

Vodafone Fiji should improve its current services first before even thinking about a 5G network.

The Consumer Council of Fiji has received complaints from consumers particularly on Vodafone’s 4G networks where users are not getting the optimum speed which the mobile company has marketed and promoted widely.

Vodafone should improve capacity on its 4G and 3G networks first before contemplating higher speed network like 5G. Consumers have been complaining that the 4G network is not providing the optimum speed especially for mobile internet and wireless broadband services.

All the hype about faster speed and bigger bandwidth does not match the end-user experiences. Not to mention the price, consumers pay for such services and do not get value for their money.

Vodafone and other ISPs should not be creating too much hype about speeds and reliability when they cannot deliver these consistently to consumers.

The Council is reiterating the need for ISPs to provide a Broadband Disclosure Statement which is summary of essential information which can assist consumers to make an informed decision.

Two important components of the disclosure statement should be speed variation and reliability. ISPs need to disclose speed variation of a service so that consumers know what kind of speeds they will get during peak and off-peak times. Reliability is an important requirement whereby ISPs will provide a certain level of service guarantee. ISPs should specify a minimum guaranteed service level, for example 90%. If service is not available or does not meet the guaranteed levels of service, then the consumer should be compensated through data and, or credits to their account.

Apart from internet connection, the Council has also received concerns from consumers about bad call and voice connectivity in the Northern Division. The Council staff experienced this first hand in Labasa last week.

Meanwhile, the Council is asking Vodafone to clarify its concerns about the use of illegal mobile phones from overseas and how these are causing interference with its networks. In a newspaper report last week, Vodafone was reportedly saying that these phones were brought in illegally from overseas

How are these phones illegal? Which particular law, regulation or standard specifies which ones are illegal and which ones are not?