What do most people want?
– Most people I’ve spoken to this week want the Telcos to give some freebies
– Nobody has asked for free voice calls yet
– What most people are asking for is reduced data charges or free data
What do we really need?
– We need our internet stable
– We need affordable internet services
– We need the service to be available 24/7
Where are we?
– We are in a situation where almost every industry is suffering
– Most of us are working from home
– Others are playing from home
– Some companies may continue to pay salaries
– Most of them may not be able to
– Revenues have been hit
– Our personal incomes have been hit too (I lost GHS20,000 in March…yes)
What is likely going to happen?
– The uptake of internet services is growing
– Corporate subscriptions are likely to drop, so the Telcos will lose money…big time
– Personal data subscriptions may rise, and fall if COVID-19 continues you exist beyond April. A lot of people may not have enough cash to buy data
– There’ll be an increased clamour for reduced tariffs and freebies
– The zero-rated educational websites and apps
– The biggest one will be the government’s e-learning platform. That alone could cripple telcos and put all of us in dire straights if not well implemented. Imagine having even 500,000 students accessing an average of 1GB of data every hour.
What must we do?
– These are not normal times
– We must all use internet sustainably
– Prioritize the platforms: Work, education and some entertainment
– Apps you should be wary of include Likee and TikTok. They can drain your data with the speed of light.
– On YouTube, Netflix and other streaming platforms, choose the lower stream qualities to reduce your data consumption
Are we going to be okay?
– Hopefully…hope is not a plan though
– Your company is bleeding
– Mine is bleeding
– The govt is bleeding
– Telcos are bleeding too. They are not immune to the effects of the Coronavirus
– Their bandwidth and other stuff they offer are also in limited supply
– They cannot even upgrade immediately to improve service quality
– Nobody planned for this
WE MUST WORK TOGETHER AS STAKEHOLDERS TO ENSURE WE ALL DON’T BREAK DOWN THE SYSTEMS
1. Make more voice calls instead of Zoom and WhatsApp video calls
2. Prioritize data use – Choose productive applications and figure out other ways of getting entertainment. Your entertainment should not be hinged primarily on online sources.
3. Rest more between work and other activities. Binging on series online etc denies you sleep. Sleeping helps to revitalize your body and build up your immune system.
4. Read more books
5. Have conversations with your lockdown mates at home. Rebuild your personal connections.
6. #StayHome and #StopTheSpread