9mobile MiFi subscribers lament depletion of data

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Some 9mobile MiFi subscribers on Monday expressed concern over the depletion of their data, in addition to the rising costs of the data bundle.

The customers made this known in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

According to them, the depletion is causing a lot of damages to their work and businesses, leading some to even dump the network’s MiFi.

MiFi is a brand name used to describe a wireless router that acts as mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.

Mr Peter Okonkwo, a journalist, said that he was surprised that a 2-gigabyte data bundle recharge which normally lasted for a month was used up within two days.

“I only use the data for working. I normally open a portal to copy a document, shut it off and open again to post, only to get an alert within two days that the data had finished.

“This has happened on two occasions and the only solution left was to drop the network, since I am losing time and money,’’ he said.

A web designer, Mr Rich Akintola, said that the recent development in 9mobile data service was not good enough.

He alleged that it was as though the network was using subscribers’ subscription to pay off the debt it owes the banks.

“I was really enjoying 9mobile services when they came up, but recently, since its debt issue, the network has been misbehaving, it is no longer reliable,’’ he said.

Another subscriber, Mr Tunji Adekunle, said that he was having the best data experience with 9mobile but recently the services have become unappealing.

He called on 9mobile to revisit the issue before it gets out of hand, adding that its services were nothing to write home about now.

Another web developer, Mr Ife Popoola, said that 9mobile was really fast when he started using it and suddenly it started being slow.

“I had to configure three apps to work on the data, but still, it keeps getting worse,’’ he said.
Reacting to the data issue, Mrs Oluseyi Osunsedo, Head, Environmental Compliance, Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, linked the rising number of customers’ complaints to settings.

Osunsedo, however, advised subscribers to change the password of their Mifi or Smartphone hotspot, from time to time.
She said that it would help to reduce the data usage, when a second party is connected to the MiFi, without the knowledge of the main user.

“A common scenario with Mifi users or Smartphone hotspot is a case where the user has granted internet access to a friend or family member in the past.

“Whenever the friend or family member’s phone comes within the range of the Mifi, it automatically connects, often unknown to the customer and data usage is charged to the Mifi or hotspot phone.

“To avoid this, subscribers are advised to change the password of their Mifi or Smartphone hotspot from time to time,’’ she said.
Osunsedo said that when subscribers connect their laptops to either their phones or their MiFi, background updates that run on the laptop are a major factor for unusual data depletion.

“Most updates on laptops are run by antivirus and an antivirus update can consume more than 1GB data in less than one hour.
“Some customers argue that this is not the same on other networks and the reason for this is not far-fetched, as 9mobile has the best network quality.

“Apart from the fact that network quality unlocks the full functionality of applications on a device, download rate is also very fast.

“Therefore, the download rate of the updates is fastest on the 9mobile network, compared to competition,’’ she said.

NAN reports that a consortium of 13 banks, both foreign and Nigerian, had in March moved to take over the operations of the then Etisalat, now 9mobile, over a 1.2 billion dollars loan facility obtained in 2015.

They said their attempt to recover the loan was due to the pressure from the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), demanding immediate cut down on the rate of non-performing loans.

However, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) waded into the matter to ensure an amicable resolution of the issue.

NAN also reports that 9mobile according to the NCC, has about 21 million subscribers, which the regulatory body promised its subscribers that they will continue to enjoy the services provided by the operator, despite it challenges.

According to NCC’s statistics on internet usage, 9mobile in August had 11,842,298 as against 11,710,658 in September, indicating a drop difference of 131,640.

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