Last week we had a look at mobile broadband packages and their various applicable tariffs and some (myself included) of you were wondering about the quality of the service. The marketing guru, Prof. Philip Kotler, defined quality as “fitness for a particular purpose.” I concede that for the most part people have different needs and therefore what one might consider as quality differs from person to person.
However there are certain traits that can be deemed universally desirable. Among these are :
- Speed: all things being equal people love a faster connection than they do slower connection.
- Reliability of the connection: this refers to the amount of downtime that can be expected in a given period, a month perhaps, as well as the ability to access and maintain the advertised speeds/connection technology(e.g. 3g/EDGE/GPRS) if any.
- Coverage: What areas are covered or not covered. While this is no longer that much of an issue with GSM (traditional mobile operators) this should interest those who are thinking of joining the emerging operators such as those utilizing CDMA.
- Joining costs: the initial costs involved in joining a particular network. Again this would primarily interest those who want to compare the emerging providers with the traditional providers.
While information such as the joining costs can be obtained via a little desk or field research, things like speed cannot be so easily ascertained. No operator is going to put their failings on a glossy brochure. So please spare a 100kb of your data to do this test on your mobile and post the results. It will be greatly appreciated if you can also take part in the survey here.
N.B. Although speed is our primary interest here, we are also interested in your evaluation of the service that you are currently using as well as the purpose for which you are using your connection. Also note that this is strictly for mobile broadband, which means Econet, Telecel, NetOne, and (if you’re using the dongle version of their service), PowerTel and Africom.