Mobile Communication: Umuodagu Ntu and excruciating poor network
~ By Nwaorgu Faustinus
The advent of Mobile telecommunication industry in Nigeria is traceable to 1999 and present democratic government. Prior to 1999, telephone be it landline or walkie-talkie was seen as one of the rare luxuries of the rich. But the coming of mobile telecommunication operators changed the situation for the better as every Tom, Dick and Harry have accesses to one or two handsets. That is why its arrival and operation was seen as a great achievement of the former President of Nigeria, Chief. Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
Initially, MTN, the first mobile telecommunication company was given license to operate followed by ECONET which metamorphosed into Vmobile first, then Zain and now Airtel. The last mobile telephony network but not the least is Etisalat. Apart from these four major telephony networks, there are also others that are regionally based.
Though the impacts of these four major mobile networks are well felt in urban areas the reverse is the case in some rural communities. Since half a decade of the advent of some of the mobile networks, it is sad to state that their signal, service or network have been abysmally poor in rural villages. It is the expectation of mobile telephone users in the villages that given the inception of mobile telephony industry, their areas would have been covered with the mast of various mobile telephone network operators.
One of such villages is Umuaka, in Umuodagu Ntu, which is in Ngor/Okpala Local Government Area. It is disheartening to note that in this quiet and serene village one hardly makes or receives calls from the comfort of his or her bedroom, parlor, kitchen or compound without walking for two to three kilometers in search of network signal. This is not good for rural mobile telephone users.
This writer who has written a related piece titled “Overt letter to Etisalat”, “concluded it by stating thus: “Others who cannot buy external antennas have resorted to climbing all sorts of trees ranging from mango, orange, avocado, cashew, oil bean, palm trees among others in search of network. It is therefore imperative for Etisalat and other telephony operators to cover such communities by building their base stations or masts there in order to reduce the rate at which subscribers climb trees. In the case of the above community (Umuodagu Ntu), land where the base station or mast will be sited is available, as the Eze and his cabinet, as well as the elders and youths are ever ready to work with any telecommunication company that indicates interest”.
This piece is an appeal to the four major mobile telephony networks – MTN, AIRTEL, GLO and Etisalat to come to the aid of the above community and village so that they can stay in their various homes to make and receive calls. No doubt, if the mast is hoist or built, the community will remain grateful to any of the network operators that honoured their appeal.
Nwaorgu Faustinus Chilee, writes from Igboeche, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Mobile: +2348035601312. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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