Mobile Internet users in Bangladesh often complain they lose substantial amount of money as they could not use the data they bought with a limited validity period.
They thought it would have been better had the mobile phone operators offered packages without a validity period.
“When the data that I bought earlier will be exhausted, I’ll buy a package again,” said a mobile internet user in Dhaka. “But now, the data that I cannot use within the limited validity is being lapsed.”
He also thought that he would get the value for money if he has to buy packages even twice a month in cases of overuse.
Akramul Haque, who joins regular hang out at Shahbagh in Dhaka, was looking for mobile phone top-up vendors in the mid-night of Friday. He was telling that he needed to top up so he could continue the internet package and save and carry over the remaining data from last month.
His efforts in saving the data well indicated that there might have also packages the operators offer with the carry over facility.
But most of the packages the operators offer do not have that facility. In most cases, the validity period is 28 or 30 days – the unused data lapses after the period. However, there are few very small packs one can buy, use and exhaust quickly.
The internet users, mostly young people, complained that the operators would design some special offers in a manner that many of the users would never be able to exhaust.
For instance, a Grameenphone user said he buys 1GB data for a month, but his consumption ranges between 500MB to 750MB. “Well, I’m losing only around 250MB.”
He continued to say that GP offered him a special package of 2GB data at only Tk149 (a price for a regular package of around 500MB) by sending an SMS yesterday. “But, this 2GB data is only with seven days of validity,” he said. “This is nothing but a mockery with the consumers.”
Not only the GP, the other operators are also offer similar types of packages and the internet users are always expressing their resentment everywhere.
The government and its ministers on many occasions insist the companies to make the data price cheaper to help achieve the government’s mission to make the country “Digital Bangladesh”.
However, the country’s second largest mobile phone operator in terms of revenue, Robi, has announced they introduced three internet packages with unlimited validity period, according to a press release issued in Dhaka today.
Robi having 27.4 million active subscribers would be the first to bring such package in the country.
“It has been observed that many customers fail to exhaust the entire data volume available under the internet products they purchase within the stipulated validity period. This often causes a sense of resentment among the customers,” said the operator.
“This first of its kind unique internet product is potentially a game changer for the mobile telecom industry in terms of the way customers consume internet.”