Most of SA experiences dropped calls

2012-06-19 15:51

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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  • Justin - 2012-06-19 16:15

    Only place I don't get dropped calls in when I'm in the middle of nowhere (rural KZN) with one house every 5km's. When in major cities or along freeways, you cannot hold a call for more than a minute or two - pathetic.

      George - 2012-06-19 16:45

      Absolutely pathetic service which we get at the highest cost in the world. Correct me if I'm wrong but having to make repeated calls simply increases the carriers revenue. Is it being done for that purpose? The regulator should institute immediate investigations because its really BAD. Any dropped calls should be refunded due to non-delivery of service.

      Boer - 2012-06-19 20:23

      I was in South-Africa a couple of months ago and never experienced one dropped call. Come to America and youll get dropped calls 9 times a day. And Iam in Los-Angeles a place with a lot of cell towers. Funny thing is when we are on our Land in Arizona where it is completely rural and just cattle farmers we never experience drop calls. Why is that???

  • mastersvoice - 2012-06-19 16:17

    I am surprised only 78% have experienced dropped calls! Perhaps it is a MTN thing - but I rarely have a complete conversation without the call being dropped these days.

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-06-19 16:27

      i found the prob on vodacom, but not so much on mtn prior to my vodacom contract....but signal is a mission, where i have no signal, mtn signal is 100%, so i just use whats app and screw them out of airtime profits.

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-06-19 16:18

    I'm 3km away from the Cape Town CBD and still get constantly interrupted network! Where is it supposed to work efficiently if the economic hubs are so faulty? I think the SA networks are overwhelmed with the cellphone usage increase, but choose to expand into Africa for profits instead of increasing local infrastructure. Good ol' capitalism

  • thokozane.maloka - 2012-06-19 16:20

    78% is a lot, and these service providers are making more money out of this. If calls are droppped, means you have to call twice, more money for them.

  • Sagin - 2012-06-19 16:21

    all designed to make you pay.

  • john.doeslough - 2012-06-19 16:21

    In the middle of the suburbs of Johannesburg and often there is no network. When I do get a connection it is on EDGE, making the smartphone I have pretty useless... Can the networks in South Africa please stop ripping us off???

  • tuco.angeleyes - 2012-06-19 16:30

    service providers are robbing us blind with dropped calls. its very rare to have a five minutes conversation on a cell phone regardless who the provider is.

  • derk.woldendorp - 2012-06-19 16:31

    today I had my ADSL line with Telkom drop 15 times,any one having the same problem?

      Klippies - 2012-06-19 16:36

      That's either a problem with your ISP, your local Telkom exchange, or even with with your PC/Laptop. Sounds more like an exchange problem to me though.

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-06-19 16:50

    Rarely have a longer than 3 minute conversation without dropping the call. This survey understates the problem!!

  • Tony - 2012-06-19 17:01

    I am in the grammadoelas in Limpopo, on MTN. I seldom experience dropped calls, but the data bandwidth is pathetic - says EDGE, but performance is the low end of GPRS. Luckily, I have a separate wireless internet connection, run by a local service provider. At the moment, I'm downloading at 3,5Mbps, survivable in the bush.

  • odofad - 2012-06-19 17:26

    You should be able to return the dropped call for a refund!!!!

  • Lisel Engelbrecht - 2012-06-19 21:29

    I've picked up as soon as the data signal changes from 3G to edge and vice versa you experience drop calls. I've made screen dumps of my phone every time it happens but Vodacom dead quite

  • SidewaysView - 2012-06-20 06:43

    The level of service provided by our cell phone service providers is abysmal. They are parasitic leeches and I despise their attitude and greed with which they operate, seemingly undeterred by consumer complaints. Unfortunately the SA consumer is apathetic and we need to put some serious pressure to bring these parasites back into line

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-06-20 06:57

    I have 10 dropped calls a day, it is very frustrating, you should not get billed for a dropped call. Also Im on the Vodacom network, there is a major problem with the coverage on the R27 opposite Rietvlei, the cell mast is in full view, but the reception is rubbish, 1000's of people go past this point every day, I can only imagine how many dropped calls must happen here, Fix this Vodacom, its been like this for 8 years or more.

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