The mobile network coverage of the state-owned cellular operator Ufone has decreased significantly in all major cities across the country, and customers of the lowest-ranked operator are currently experiencing the poorest quality of voice and data services. Customers from Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, and Peshawar have complained about high call termination rates and poor voice quality. On the other hand, Users in rural and semi-urban areas are experiencing hours of a network outage or weak connectivity as their cell sites go offline during power load-shedding.
Customers of ride-hailing and location-based delivery apps such as careem, uber, in-driver, foodpanda, bykea, and cheetay are experiencing delays in meeting their captains due to Ufone 4G’s poor network. As people’s livelihoods have become increasingly dependent on connectivity, and to secure their livelihood, customers are considering switching networks.
Customers in general connected with the Ufone 4G network and vendors authorized for receiving utility bills are complaining about the unstable connectivity during day time. People at large gathered at Ufone’s customer service center in the biggest district of Southern Punjab a few days back. They only demanded better network quality. However, the company has not taken any step so far for the betterment of its network quality. Customers have also complained that the network’s tariff has recently increased, but the quality has suffered as a result.
According to the inside reliable source, customer complaints about voice and data from rural as well as urban areas are increasing, and the operator failed to resolve customers’ service-related issues; the system is registering a significant number of customers who are porting out from the network regularly. Source further said that many cell sites of the network need massive up-gradation but due to the economic crunch and high operating cost, the company has no plans for further investment in the network.
The country’s lowest ranked network has a subscriber base of 23.2 million with a market share of around 12%. It’s pertinent to mention here that Ufone was declared as bid winner of the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) spectrum auction process in September 2021. The operator was the sole bidder in the spectrum auction, as the remaining three operators (Jazz, Telenor, and Zong) did not participate due to the favorable set of terms and conditions. The operator had won the spectrum in a bid to enhance the 4G customer experience across the country.
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