Service quality drops after Robi-Airtel merger | 2017-02-16 |

Service quality drops after Robi-Airtel merger

Shamim Jahangir     15th February, 2017 11:00:00 printer

Service quality drops after Robi-Airtel merger

The water of river Buriganga turns pitch-black because of indiscriminate dumping of waste from industries and houses. The photo was taken from Sadarghat area in the capital on Wednesday. - Kamrul Islam Ratan

A drop in the quality of services (QoS) of the combined entity Robi Axiata Limited is disappointing the subscribers after the much-talked-about merger of Robi and Airtel in November last year.


The first-ever merger in the country’s telecom sector promised to set the stage for creating the number one network delivering the widest mobile network coverage across Bangladesh.


But many Robi and Airtel users have lodged complaints with Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) questioning the quality of services being offered by the combined entity, officials concerned said.  


Besides, Airtel is still selling SIM cards violating the regulatory guideline and compliance codes as well, officials said.   


“I am using Airtel SIM for over a year. But lately I have been facing frequently call drops,” one disappointed Istiaq told daily sun.


He also said he might switch to another operator if the current operator fails to improve its services.


Another Robi subscriber said, “I purchased a Robi SIM after the merger. But I am facing frequent call drops and low-quality voice services.”     


BTRC officials said they were aware of the deterioration in the quality of services offered by Robi and Airtel after the merger and the telecom regulator has already asked the operator to improve the service quality.               


“I have already got several complaints against Robi and asked them to improve the service quality,” BTRC chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood told daily sun on Tuesday.


He also said they approved the merger seeing the prospects of quality services delivered by the merged entity.


Responded to the issue, BTRC Legal and License Commissioner Jahurul Haque said, “BTRC has already sent a legal notice to Robi for selling new Airtel SIMs violating the conditions.”


Currently, there are 77.25 lakh active connections under the network of Airtel, for which the 016 prefix and the Airtel branding will be retained for at least the next two years.


Talking about the quality of services, Robi Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mahtab Uddin Ahmed claimed the subscribers in Dhaka faced some issues due to the ongoing maintenance for setting up an integrated network.


He also said there have been no complaints from Chittagong, Khulna, Kushtia and Barisal as the network is fully functional and rearranged. The Robi CEO also claimed they are compensating the affected subscribers by offering them additional 45 percent services.


“We would be able to offer the best quality services once we complete the integration of networks between Robi and Airtel by June 2017,” he said.


Robi has 2.44 crore active customers, according to BTRC data. After the merger, Robi Axiata Limited became the second largest operator in the country, both in terms of subscribers and revenues. The combined entity is serving approximately 3.22 crore subscribers.