Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Will free net calls save MTSFirst?

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Market Intelligence:

Last week, the pioneer Mobile Telecommunications Service (MTS) otherwise known as MTSFirst announced the introduction of free network calls for all range of subscribers.

This, Champion Infotel gathered was in the bid to save the network and regain its glory amidst stiff competition, due to depleting subscriber base.

The initiative tagged MTS Unlimited Tariff Plan, is a customer-centric according to company sources and is to enable the telco meet the telephony needs of a wider-spectrum of potential and existing subscribers on the network as part of its new corporate direction and strategy to increase the company’s market share.

The telco also said “the offer kicked off on Monday, May 21, 2007, and is available to all standard pre-paid subscribers between the hours of 7 p.m and 6.59 p.m, Monday through Friday.

Even, subscribers could also enjoy a special weekend marathon treat that gives them free on-net calls between 7p.m on Friday and 11.59p.m on Sunday.

This, the new management of the company said, was introduced strictly on the dictates of sound corporate governance and high ethical standard.

Additionally, the telco said it places greater premium on customer-centric initiatives and cost-competitiveness in the application of world-class telecommunications service delivery in the country.

MTS also announced an unbeatable slash in the prices of a wide range of handheld and desk-top phones on its network to suit the demands of both low-end and upwardly mobile individuals as well as meet the telephony requirements of various corporate organizations.

Industry analysts see this action as a saving step for the network, unfortunately, every thing seems to be heading to the opposite for the telco, who not long ago relaunched its services and logo, yet, in what observers described as ‘Tsunami exit’ of its top management staff at a go.

One aspect of the effect of enmass exodus of its top officials must have resulted in the poor services thereby thrusting the management of the telco in hands of ‘faceless’ group of personnel, yet to be proclaimed months after the exodus.

For instance, MTSFirst services are nothing to talk home about as subscribers have continued to lament increased poor services.

A case in point has been the telco’s Internet value added service, which has immensely depreciated.

Recent reports have it that MTSFirst night browsing leaves less to be desired on daily basis, as the customers, especially those who subscribed for evening till midnight lose an average of two hours either trying to connect, waiting to be connected or precisely cannot connect, because, according to sources at MTS, “there is likelihood that we have many subscribers at this area.”

But even if the reality is the increase in the number of subscribers in a given area, experts contended that nothing stops the company from improving on their infrastructural capacity to focus on that area.

The Consumer Protection Agency of the Federal Government should wake up to its responsibility, by coming up with an initiative to save subscribers from falling prey of drowning telcos, even as industry-based non-governmental organisations, and the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), should take this issue seriously before it gets out of hand of becoming insolvent.

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