More than 6 months after the introduction of 3G in Lebanon, and more than a month after the supposed deadline given to have most of Lebanon covered, Alfa still has a long way to go.
No, I’m not saying the job they did so far is bad. But when their online map shows that they’ve already covered regions with 3G while it’s clearly not the case, then yes we should be allowed to speak up, especially when upon telling them of the matter they reply that the online map isn’t very accurate and that they have a more accurate one in their headquarters.
That online map has changed a couple of times since it first went online. At first, it had a narrow strip of regions already covered with a bigger strip of regions that will be covered by December 2011 and then March 2012. Then the map changed to have that initial strip made even bigger, more coverage I suppose. Hurray? Guess again.
Today, the map shows that all Lebanon should be covered with some already covered in December and the rest by March 2012. We’re already in May and this is definitely not the case.
Living near the coastal areas of Batroun, my region was supposedly covered from the getgo with 3G. And that was far from reality. Not only did Batroun city recently (in the last month or so) get 3G, my hometown, which is covered according to their map, barely gets Edge. GPRS is our connection of “choice.” And neither are stable enough to offer proper connectivity, the phone keeps jumping between them both.
Now, while my problem with all of this is their very wrong map, which has remained wrong despite many of us telling them it is, it’s not the only thing to note. Yesterday, I found out that MTC had 3G coverage in my hometown. They also had coverage in Batroun from the start, even though they didn’t advertise it as aggressively as Alfa did.
Another region which apparently has 3G according to their map is the Balamand region. While I used to get 3G sporadically there, it is still very far from being stable enough from being used. Just yesterday, while standing outside the faculty of medicine, I got 3G. I walked ten meters to the university’s main gate and the phone switched back to Edge, I tried to force it back to 3G – nope, wouldn’t work.
That region has had very intermittent coverage – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Those with MTC have coverage all the time, both as data and simple cellular connection. Alfa’s regular reception in that region, as well as my hometown, is abysmal. You can barely make a regular phone call even if your life depended on it.
So I ask the following: when will Alfa’s engineers take notice of this? When will they get the minimum coverage required from them up to par? When will their shameless marketing stop? And when will their customer service department show the map of their true 3G coverage?