How Intelligent is Nigeria’s Most Advanced GSM Network?

gloThe PR guys at GloMobile consistently tout their network as Nigeria’s most advanced GSM network. In addition, they tell us that Glo is also building Africa’s most advanced netwwork.

But how advanced (read: intelligent) can this network be, given the following:

  1. Newly activated SIMs are not automatically provisioned for mobile data. “Less advanced” networks like MTN and Etisalat do this.
  2. Even OTA (SMS) activation for data usually does not work. In the last one year, I have had reason to attempt to activate GloMoibile GPRS/3G on a number of SIMs by sending “Activate” to 444. All I get is a return SMS that my activation request will be processsed within 48 hours. In all cases, it never happened. In one case, 4, 320 hours later, that line has still not been provisioned
  3. Going to a Gloworld outlet for activation often does not work either. There’s a particular SIM with me now, OTA provisioning has been attempted about 100 times without any results, and the SIM has been to Gloworld Opebi thrice in the last 6 months. Still no show.
  4. The Glomobile billing system (especially for contract data subscribers) has a mind of its own and regularly bills outrageously (or some people at Glo are intentionally scamming subscribers

Personally, I am tired of this mess. If you need easy GSM mobile data activation/provisioning, your best bet are MTN and Etisalat. No; Zain is not much better than Glo in this regard. You will only end up sending lots of activation codes and visiting Zain centres – and if you are lucky, your line gets to be activated.

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Yes; it is more a game of chance.

The flip-side is that because of the diffuculties of getting activated, there are relatively and significantly fewer users on both Glo and Zain data services, making both of them relatively stable. At least, generally, they are more stable than MTN data. Etisalat’s high mobile data tariff seems to help maintain stability on their network too.

You see, you cannot eat your cake and have it.

Thinking of it, it is either the Glo network is not so intelligent. Or it is that the network is so intelligent – infact, far more intelligent than the people who operate it (apologies to all my guys at Glo) – that the personnel have not gotten the hang of how to put it to work as intended.

What do you you think?

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

7 thoughts on “How Intelligent is Nigeria’s Most Advanced GSM Network?

  • June 18, 2009 at 7:07 am
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    I think we should call it : how ‘smart’ is the network,not ‘intelligent’. Intelligent seems like we’re given them too much credit for their (meager) efforts. 😆
    ..

  • June 18, 2009 at 7:11 am
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    I won’t even be suprised if they make a (put your favorite nigeria telecoms-operator here) app store in the near future. Or at least an umbrella suite like Ovi. Think (put your favorite telecoms operator here) Music,Share,Docs,Games,Community,etc anyone ?!

  • June 18, 2009 at 8:03 am
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    soul,

    “Smart” sounds just right. Why didn’t I think of that?

  • June 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm
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    Mid lasts year, i managed to call customer service to enquire about an MMS to email service. I could hear her chuckle at the other end of the line as said what I should know its that such a concept doesnt exist! Its mobile email via wap I’m really talking about and MMS is strictly from one phone user to another and there isnt more to it than that!

    I didnt try to argue. What do know, this year i got an sms from Glo saying that mms to email service has been launched! (this was during their smile and snap promo). I havnt tried it out yet, dunno if it will work. I must say, Glo does have the tech muscles but can they handle it?

    They need to master their ‘world’ first before they can ‘rule’ ours.

  • June 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm
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    I’ve always pondered .. and wondered what it is that is so ‘wonderful’ about Zain Naijas world. Its a total mess !!

    In times past i’ve spoken to two of their execs,on why the approach and orientation of the network is so. . . superficial.

    Its seems all their after these days is growing a larger user base, not giving a damn about the type *and* quality of their services. In fact some of their services are SO outdated. Their mobile portal is such a IT Security hazard,its really not much fun breaking it every now and then.

    But all one gets in response from them is the usual prevaricating that is common of their ilk. I mean, what is so fundamentally wrong with them that they can’t handle and dealt with ?! ..

    It even seems nowadays Etisalat looks more appealing in services. Sadly though, they aren’t without their accompanying problems.

    P.S: I’m told by a Nokia Rep. that the N97 will be launched here in July. Can you imagine . . a Whole JULY !!? When the UK is getting their’s and the N86 tomorrow morning. Has Nokia Totally LOST IT !? Is Nigeria now just a plaything to them; for just phone market & advertise, finish?

    The future looks rather grim for Symbian in Nigeria.

  • July 4, 2009 at 9:57 pm
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    Glo doesn’t seem to have what it takes to ‘rule’ anyones world. The article above is a ‘bull’s eye’ on the Glo problem. May I add a few of my own;

    1) Glo promised fiber links to the country since 2008. Its been a goal post shifting galore. I am so disappointed i no longer follow the ‘Glo 1’ progress.

    2) despite wide publicity in the media, 3G is not yet in Abuja as at 1st July 2009. This was confirmed by their customer care staff. Then why the noise about fiber ring around the country? MTN and co leave glo in the dust on this one.

    3) glo website is so scanty on information. most parts were under construction for the best part of 2008/2009. the info is outdated; more on chest beating than info a subscriber will need.

    4) the lack of info is compounded with customer care lines that seldom goes; its easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle….

    5) when it comes to data info from the site or customer care, its faster to ask around your tech sauvy neighbors or spend the next one year trying it out urself. the lack of basic info from their CC staff is astounding.

    I still feel for Glo, you know the ‘charity begins at home’ thing. I know very soon my wallet will complain and common sense will direct my feet to MTN and co. I know this will be sooner than later. Glo better sit up!

  • July 5, 2009 at 5:20 am
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    Archie, 3G is not available on Glo at Abuja? Shriek! Horror!

    Looks like we have only one relatively sound 3G network in Nigeria, and its not Glo or Zain. Yes; sacrilegious.

    About getting through to Glo customer care, that’s easier said than done. In 6 months of usage of a particular Glo pre-paid SIM, I never got through to customer care once – and I dialled that number regularly in an attempt to sort out a problem. I got the same feedback from quite a number of other Glo subscribers as well.

    Sentiments aside, Glo’s network is clearly not what the PR guys want us to believe.

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