Wi-Fi Enabled; Consumers Disabled!

I have a laptop that’s Wi-Fi enabled. I can sit in a café in Singapore, use my Dialog account and surf the net – no problems, no hassles and no issues. The cost gets added to the roaming bill. Convenience is key; and being able to go online from anywhere is my purpose of carrying a Wi-Fi device with me. The purpose of Wi-Fi is to provide easy and convenient wireless access to the digital world – eliminating the physical restraints and the hassle.

Let’s forget Singapore for a moment. I travel within my beautiful island quite frequently – and, more often than not, fail to use the Wi-Fi facilities available in most hotspots. The reason: the services are offered by different service providers – and they all seem to ignore the consumers who are not their customers. If one seeks to be truly mobile in Sri Lanka using Wi-Fi hotspots, they must have accounts with all the service providers – or has to go through the hassle of getting temporary connections each and every time they’d want to surf the net. Instead of opening up the digital world and breaking the barriers, the Sri Lankan Wi-Fi service providers have created more boundaries, more hassles and more restrictions – and they lost the very meaning, and the very purpose of Wireless Fidelity services.

There should be a unitary system that allows a Wi-Fi user to log in from anywhere, immaterial of the SIM Card he carries in his pocket. The service providers should work out the “roaming” and “billing” part, that should not be the consumer’s problem. If I could surf from Starbucks in Singapore with my Dialog account, I’m wondering why couldn’t I surf from a Suntel hotspot – right here in Colombo..!

Aren’t we – the islanders of paradise – quite capable of complicating simple things in life?

Is it another sign of “misguided-education” taking over “common sense” or is it the marketing geniuses forgetting the consumer-convenience? I wonder... and fail to understand.

1 comment:

  1. You are right. Unfortunately, the Telcos in Sri Lanka never think of customers' benefits. They (Telcos) consider their competitors (also competitors' customers) as enemies and are not ready to allow/serve another Telco's customer under their network.
    Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) is there only to fill pockets, not to direct/control the Telcos in the right direction for the benefit of nation.