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Mobile users complain of service disruptions; telcos ‘working to address problems’

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 04,2015 - Last updated at May 04,2015

AMMAN — Several mobile users recently have complained of disruptions in telecom services in the country. 

Hashem Obeidat, a resident of Al Rafid village in Irbid’s Bani Kinanah District, said whenever he wants to make a phone call he either goes to the street or to the rooftop as it is “impossible” to make calls while at home. 

Obeidat, a Zain Jordan subscriber, said he has filed two complaints with the company but to no avail. 

“There is no coverage at all. Any family member who wants to make a phone call either walks a few metres away from the house or goes to the rooftop to get a good signal,” the second-year engineering student at Yarmouk University said over the phone. 

Abu Osama Al Omoush, an Orange Jordan subscriber, faces similar problems.

“I wonder why the company’s coverage is weak in spite of the huge profits they make,” he said on his Facebook page.

“What does it take and how much does it cost to add a few more towers to enhance the coverage?” Omoush asked. 

Users complained of failed calls, inability to connect to third generation (3G) networks and low Internet speeds on their phones.

“When I connect to the 3G network and start using the Internet I sometimes face problems. The Internet on the 3G network is slow,” said Ayman Abed, a resident of Tabarbour and a subscriber with Umniah.

“Telecom companies should always improve their services if they want to retain customers,” Abed noted. 

Umniah said it is constantly working on developing its network to improve services. 

“There will be some unhappy and dissatisfied customers sometimes and this is normal,” Sami Idbies, acting technical director at Umniah, told The Jordan Times. 

“Sometimes the problems customers face can be attributed to the handsets they use. Some devices, which are popular brands in the country, have a problem and when their users switch between 2G and 3G they are automatically out of network coverage,” he explained. 

Telcos in general face some challenges when they want to place towers on buildings to boost coverage which landlords sometimes reject, Idbies added. 

“The thickness of building walls also affects the signal’s strength,” he said. “We take complaints seriously and constantly work to address them.”

Zain Jordan said in spite of an increase in subscribers, the number of complaints it received dropped from 0.09 per cent in the first half of 2014 to 0.08 per cent in the second half of 2014. 

A Zain Jordan statement sent to The Jordan Times said the complaints were handled and resolved within time periods in line with international standards. 

The company said it doubled the efficiency of its third generation network in the last quarter of 2014 and launched 4G services in the first quarter of this year. 

“The company regularly conducts assessment and tests for its coverage using the latest technologies,” the statement said, adding that it provides multiple channels for filing complaints. 

Orange Jordan CEO Jean François Thomas said an exceptional increase of mobile data has placed intense pressure on Orange networks. 

“We have decided to restructure our 2G, 3G and 4G networks to better cope with the growing demand. This may cause some service issues in our voice and Internet services in some limited areas... for a short while,” Thomas said.

“We have announced the expected shortcomings in our services to our customers and assured them that once the full network restructuring is completed, they will be able to enjoy unprecedented voice and Internet quality services from Orange,” he told The Jordan Times.

According to official figures, there are more than 11 million active mobile subscriptions in Jordan. Of the total mobile phones in the Kingdom, some 60 per cent are smartphones. 

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