Mobile networks warned

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A CABINET minister has warned mobile network companies to alert customers that they are about to exhaust their data bundles, instead of immediately chewing into their credits.
Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy Sam Basil said the companies were “making millions” through this practice.
“This is stealing. It is a must that all mobile network companies must provide data usage alerts so that customers are notified,” Basil said. No comments could be obtained from Digicel, bmobile-Vodafone and Citifone last night on the issue.
Basil said the alert would give data-bundle users time to consider how they could manage their data bundles, without using their credits.
Basil told The National that mobile network companies were making millions by not providing these alerts because when the data bundles were exhausted, the companies immediately used up customers’ credits.
Basil, pictured, said it was particularly a concern for mobile phone users living in the remote areas who needed the credits in their phones in cases of emergency.
“We should consider those back in the village who grow, harvest and sell their cash crops at the markets for just a small amount they sustain themselves,” Basil said.
“They are the ones earning a living the hard way and should not be treated as such.
“That K1 or more stolen from them could assist them in any way possible.
“For example, an emergency or a situation of that nature.
“It is as if those people did not have a voice to raise such concerns that affect them.
“We are their voices.”
Basil said his ministry would clamp down on mobile network companies operating in Papua New Guinea that had not been providing data-usage alerts to customers.
Basil, who is also the Bulolo MP, said another way to address the issue would be to invite more mobile network companies into the country to provide more competition and provide better services to customers.
“The more game players we have, the more compatible services we will receive,” he said.