Zimbabwe mobile networks were caught napping on the job as thousands who attended Oliver Mtukudzi’s burial were only served with 2G and poor 3G network signal, failing Zimbabweans to share the special moments in real time.
While it was a simple task of common sense and good management, mobile networks were expected to install mobile base stations to cater for the expected huge crowds, this wouldn’t have only benefited internet users but it was an opportunity to generate revenue which they so dearly flushed down this opportune moment.
Tens of thousand subscribers who thronged Madziva to pay their last respect to Tuku were forced outside data coverage as the 2g-3G capacity was overwhelmed by subscribers.
The traditional base stations in the area serving very low traffic and ordinarily would not have 4g capacity as it does not serve any business interest of the community.
Mobile network players lost potential revenue as many people who were at the burial desperately tried to share the moments, on social media were disappointed by poor backhaul connectivity .
Third Generation cellular networks (3G) were developed with the aim of offering data rates up to 2Mbps and 384Kbps for stationary and mobile users respectively which allows the operators to offer a multimedia connectivity and other data services.
With more than 50 thousand people present at Tuku’s Homestead, the base stations erected were not good enough for an event of such a magnitude where thousands wanted to share whatsapp videos, live facebook and tweets to connect the world.
A simple mobile 4g or LTE tower would have connected the thousands as these usually have a better data throughput, although its also limited to backhaul speeds outside fibre, purely depending on more sites connected to the base station.
Such levels of unpreparedness or lack of interest in such national events deserves wide condemnation it has attracted .