The search for a new cellphone company

2012-11-01 10:54

A school lunch lady in Sweden was told to cut back on the quality of her service, because it was better than other lunch ladies in the area. True story.

Annika Eriksson was informed by the Falun municipality that her wide variety of vegetables and freshly baked bread had to stop because other schools in the area weren’t doing the same thing and so this was ‘unfair’.

She would have to go back to offering a smaller selection of foods and store-bought bread like everyone else.

The situation is rather the opposite in South Africa. My current cellphone contract runs out in November, and I have to choose which carrier I’ll use next.

To be honest, I wish my choices were rather more splendid than the ones I face now.

None of them are so good that they stand head-and-shoulders above the rest, to the point of making the others jealous.

Some carriers have so many customers on limited networks that their service is often quite poor.

Calls are dropped and data is almost never uploaded or downloaded at the promised speeds.

Others are smaller and thus have a more manageable customer base, but their networks aren’t big enough to offer blanket coverage, especially in rural areas, so if you make a call from out there, they have to piggyback on someone else’s problem.

Well, then you’re back to square one with the poor service, aren’t you?

There simply are no cellphone Annika Erikssons out there.

As much as I appreciate that they face expensive problems, it still sucks.

My biggest requirement, really, is that I want the new iPhone 5. I want it at the cheapest rate that can be offered by the biggest network with the fastest 3G (and later 4G) speeds. That’s not too much to ask.

I suspect that my new service provider is going to be decided by whoever can bring me my phone quickest.

That’s not Annika Eriksson service, but it will have to do.

» Sipho Hlongwane is a writer for Daily Maverick.

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