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Dear Vodafone Ghana…

Posted in News, and Personal

Read the update to this article: “[Update] Dear Vodafone Ghana…

Dear Vodafone Ghana,

You are not small. Your origins are great. Among mobile operator groups globally, you are ‘ranked fifth by revenue and second (behind China Mobile) in the number of connections (435.9 million) as of 2014.’

In Ghana, you’re the second largest telecom, vigorously lurking behind MTN. Indeed, with the slightest opportunity, you stand in line to beat them.

With your recent Vodafone Super Care service, you clearly break it out to the world how accommodating you are, striving to always meet the needs of people of different walks of life, with all kinds of physical challenges and or limitations.

In spite of all your greatness, and love for your customers, I believe there’s room for major improvements, and I wish to share a couple of areas I hope to see you grow!

What exactly is Vodafone Fibre?

As weird, crazy and deceiving as it appears, you are boldly selling something just about HSPDA+ (roughly speaking, 3G) network speed, in a can branded colorfully as “Fibre”.

Is that so? Are there any hidden caveats and or gems we need to look beyond a fence wall to grasp?

At the office at my previous job, they went in for Vodafone Fibre, and the speeds left a sour taste in our mouths, as there was no significant improvement over the usual ‘Broadband’.

After taking a closer look at your website, you seem to clearly state how “10x faster” your 50mbps Fibre speed is.

Please, the “10x faster”, is it in relativeness to Edge or GPRS, or a different network speed out of this world?

10x Faster, than what?

Of course, without a doubt, Vodafone Ghana serves a huge chunk of their customers who are either dumb enough or equally naive to ask the question: “10x Faster than what?”. Customers who just take what they’re told “as is”, and don’t really care much about the details.

And so, they would take every word at face value, yet end up with the placebo effect taking a toll on them, in this case, regarding their network speeds.

10x Faster than Standard Broadband?

 

 

10x Faster than Standard Broadband?

According to one of your pages on Broadband:

“Our Super Fast Broadband offers speeds of up to 12Mbps and is delivered over our ADSL infrastructure” – Emphasis mine

By the way, ‘WhatsApp’ with the “Super Fast” “Ultra Fast” jargons? You use these words as if you’re providing us something truly “Ultra Fast” and “Super Fast”, such as these

Ultra Fast internet, Vodafone Ghana, see! Source

 

SuperFast Internet. Vodafone Ghana, see! Source

Back to the point. Technically speaking, your Vodafone Fibre, so-called “Ultra Fast” is NOT 10x faster than standard broadband. Why?

Because 10x of 12 Mbps is 120 Mbps (which is still less than – theoretical – 4G speed), but over 100% more than what your Fibre currently promises.

‘Ino bi so?’

 

10 x 12 is greater than 50, is it not? Standard Broadband speed is 12Mbps

At this point, it will be fair for me to mention how one person I know so far, seems to enjoy his Vodafone Fibre internet speed, claiming to reach peaks of 40 Mbps sometimes.

Impressive! However, I only move on to ask, are there priority subscriptions in the Vodafone Fibre? As in, you have the 50mbps for the ordinary user, however, the “elite” can opt-in behind the scenes, obviously with more cash on the table, to higher bandwidth speeds?

The last I checked, Fibres around the world get way more speed than what Vodafone Ghana is offering.

Vodafone Ghana Fibre vs Google Fibre

So, I think it boils down to two scenarios happening here:

  1. Vodafone Ghana has the bandwidth, enough bandwidth to even go 1Gbps+, however, have intentionally, explicitly and cruelly throttled it down to 50mbps, so that, 2 seconds later, they could sell a higher bandwidth for higher price, getting them extra tons and tons of cash for a service and or speed they should have given in the first place, on day one, for day one’s price. (I strongly tend to see this scenario as right)
  2. Vodafone Ghana only buys a little piece of the total sum of Fibre bandwidth coming through to Ghana, thus bottlenecking how much they can slice for customers. (I doubt this)

As much as the above scenarios may appear far-fetched, anything is possible today in the telecom world, considering some buy SIM cards of other networks in bulk just to destroy them – a way of sabotaging the other network’s growth.

If that sounds crazy enough, my 1) scenario shouldn’t be any crazy at all in comparison.

 

 

40Mbps or 40MBps? Source

 

 

In Summary

So, is Vodafone selling us the speed of something way less than 4G, yet calling it Fibre? Aren’t Fibre speeds way-way more than what Vodafone Ghana is selling?

In all, is Vodafone Ghana really giving customers their Value for Money with this Fibre Internet?

Vodafone Cafe

When the Vodafone Cafe started a couple of years ago, it was touted as the “Fastest Cafe in Africa”. Maybe at the time.

Articles that did mention Vodafone Cafe’s as the Fastest in Africa once are these:

Vodafone Osu Cafe is Africa’s fastest Internet speed centre [Screenshot]

Vodafone Opens Africa’s Fastest Internet at KNUST [Screenshot]

Fast forward to 2017, and the use of Vodafone Cafe offer nothing extra to the already boring network speeds available on all network platforms in Ghana.

Fastest Internet in Africa. Source

An Akan proverb says: “Ɔtorofo na ɔse ne danseni wɔ aburokyiri”, which roughly translates as, “It is the liar, who’s witness is always abroad”.

Just a week ago, on the 2nd of June, 2017, my visit to the Vodafone Cafe here in Koforidua wasn’t a memorable one.

Vodafone – Power to You, with these Vodafone Cafe speeds

About 30-45 minutes into my 2-hour time-code, I had to gently leave the cafe, for it was more time-wasting than useful to me. And I wasn’t the only one.

Vodafone easily blames this slowness as a result of users ‘abusing’ the network. By ‘abuse’, they mean downloading huge files over long periods of time.

Fair argument.

However, is that ‘truly’ entirely true? Are you sure you are not in any way intentionally throttling your speeds, just to handicap users into buying more time? Because if they download all they came for in under an hour, no more time is purchased, which means less money for you, but more data used?

Nice move, Vodafone Ghana.

Conclusion

In all, I say, please be honest with your customers. I get you, you can’t be entirely honest, but the least you could do is stop the throwing of arbitrary jargon words out there to make a point which doesn’t exist!

Your Vodafone Fibre is fast, but not ‘Ultra Fast’ because it still is at 50mbps, which is about 3x slower than 4G on paper.

Vodafone Fibre is not “10x Faster” than your “Standard Broadband” (rather about 5x faster) unless it is 10x Faster than Edge or GPRS. Maybe!

Keep up your good work in pthe internet internet far and wide, and try to not throttle your network speed.

All the Best,

An internet user in Ghana