Are Telco Services Getting Worse, Or Are We Getting Wiser
In recent years, many consumers have complained about the quality and reliability of telco services, such as mobile networks, broadband internet, and cable TV. Some of the common issues include slow speeds, frequent outages, poor customer service, and hidden fees. But are these problems really getting worse, or are we just becoming more aware and demanding of our telco providers
One possible explanation for the perceived decline in telco services is that we are using them more than ever before. According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the global average monthly data usage per mobile broadband subscription increased from 1.5 GB in 2016 to 7.5 GB in 2020. Similarly, the global average fixed broadband speed increased from 7.9 Mbps in 2016 to 18.1 Mbps in 2020. With more devices and applications connected to the internet, the demand for bandwidth and quality of service has also increased.
Another possible explanation is that we are becoming more informed and empowered as consumers. Thanks to online platforms and social media, we can easily compare different telco plans and providers, read reviews and ratings from other users, and voice our complaints and feedback. We can also switch to alternative or competing services, such as over-the-top (OTT) media platforms, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls, and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). These options give us more choice and control over our telco consumption.
Therefore, it may not be fair to say that telco services are getting worse, but rather that we are getting wiser. We have higher expectations and standards for our telco providers, and we are not afraid to hold them accountable. We also have more options and opportunities to find the best telco service that suits our needs and preferences. As technology evolves and competition intensifies, we can hope that telco services will also improve and innovate to meet our demands.
However, not all telco services are created equal. Depending on the country, region, or provider, there may be significant differences in the availability, affordability, and quality of telco services. For example, according to the ITU report, the global average mobile broadband price per 500 MB of data was 1.9% of gross national income (GNI) per capita in 2020, but it ranged from 0.4% in Europe to 5.8% in Africa. Similarly, the global average fixed broadband price per 5 GB of data was 2.1% of GNI per capita in 2020, but it ranged from 0.8% in Europe to 6.8% in Africa.
Therefore, it is important for consumers to be aware of the telco services available in their area and to choose the best option for their needs and budget. Some of the factors to consider include the coverage, speed, data allowance, contract duration, customer service, and additional features of each telco plan and provider. Consumers should also be aware of their rights and responsibilities as telco users, such as the terms and conditions of their contracts, the complaints and dispute resolution mechanisms, and the consumer protection laws and regulations in their country.
In conclusion, telco services are not necessarily getting worse, but we are getting wiser as consumers. We have more data and devices to use them, more information and platforms to compare them, and more options and alternatives to switch them. We also have higher expectations and standards for our telco providers, and we can hold them accountable for their performance and quality of service. As technology advances and competition increases, we can hope that telco services will also improve and innovate to meet our demands.