Most of SA experiences dropped calls

2012-06-19 15:51
Most South Africans are frustrated by dropped calls, a survey has found. (Wally Santana, AP)

Most South Africans are frustrated by dropped calls, a survey has found. (Wally Santana, AP)

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Cape Town - The overall majority of South Africans experienced dropped calls on mobile networks, a survey has found.

World of Avatar group company Pondering Panda found that 78% of cellphone users were left frustrated by dropped calls in the last month.

"The level of dropped calls should be of concern to the cell phone companies, as this is causing significant customer dissatisfaction," said Shirley Wakefield of Pondering Panda.

About 23% of households in SA have landline phones, with the highest being in the Western Cape, according to the South African Social Attitudes Survey conducted by the HSRC in 2003.

According to the same survey, the percentage of cellphones was set at 33.1%, but that number has been increasing as the cost of the devices declines significantly.

Revenue stream

Users rely on the wireless devices to conduct various online banking transactions, as well as shopping and purchases of consumables like electricity.

The Pondering Panda survey, which was conducted among 2 212 cellphone users, found that dropped calls happened across all South African mobile operators.

"Unfortunately, it would appear that there is nowhere to hide for South African cellphone users, as the level of complaints is almost identical for the major service providers, which indicates that there is little point in porting to another network, as the problem appears to be a universal one," said Wakefield.

Operators are increasingly turning to data as an important revenue stream and recently Vodacom announced that it has been upgrading its network to cater for increased demand for data services.

"The demand remains strong; there's strong competition in the SA market. Data revenue is up 24% year-on-year. The active data customers [are] up 35%: Now just over 12 million [and] all of the 12 million are buying data bundles on a monthly basis," CEO Pieter Uys told News24.

The survey focused responses from users in urban areas, but the rate of dropped calls or even no service is far more likely to be the reality in rural areas.


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