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I know some people who went into debt when the mobile post paid service was first introduced in this country. People suddenly had this small device at their disposal 24 hours, where ever they went.
After having that opportunity, it seemed like all of a sudden people had to call somebody, talk to friends, family and whoever they had in their lives, a lot more frequently. They never really gave much thought about the bill they would have to pay.
But of course it came, and when it did, it was beyond what people expected. They simply could not pay! And so what could they do? They simply turned off their mobile and threw away the sim card. The telecom- company lost big.
When the prepaid or phone card system was introduced, it was really life saving, people just used what they could afford and nobody got into trouble.
Although the prepaid option still exists many prefer to use the postpaid system, and some still fail to pay their bills. The phone company feels like it is being taken advantage of and is now saying it is going to limit the postpaid mobile calling service. Now people must deposit a certain amount of money every month as insurance for the telecom company.
This might be upsetting for my fellow postpaid service users but I have got to say that I actually agree with ethio telecom on this one (although I never thought I would say that).
Why should the telecom monopoly experience such suffering every month by dealing with people irresponsible enough to not pay their phone bill? Even though the telecom company provides a service of very questionable quality, it is still providing it. It is not like we have a choice anyway.
Ethio telecom says it is in their interest to slowly phase out the prepaid system and get everybody to use the postpaid system. I don’t really know what is going on there, it is kind of confusing. On one hand the company says people in the postpaid system are not paying their bill on time and on the other hand it says it is in the company’s interest to bring back prepaid users to the postpaid system.
For me personally buying a phone card is way more convenient. The cards are available around every corner at most hours. It makes it easer for people to budget money for talking on the phone properly, hence no surprises of over the top and painful bills coming their way at the end of every month.
Right now though, it seems people are stuck with very few options with the telecom company. As a monopoly ethio telecom has the power to do things as it sees fit.
Mobile users will graciously accept the unbelievably crappy network service provided to them because they can not run to another service provider, at least for the moment.
It is foreseeable that ethio telecom will no longer have a monopoly over the sector because the market is bound to open to other companies. With the way things are going for ethio telecom (in the crappy network area that is) chances are, once the telecom sector has been opened to other companies, people will take that option; unless of course there is some sort of patriotic inclination towards ethio telecom.
Hopefully, the company will be able to give out better services, more packages (like making SMS free after 8 at night) or come up with other options for customers that are more convenient.