Telecom networks move with the times

Telecom networks move with the times
Updated 02 August 2014

Telecom networks move with the times

Telecom networks move with the times

The tradition of Eid greetings seems to have lost the personal touch as an increasing number of people, both Saudis and expatriates resort to using social media applications with Eid greetings on smartphones to reach friends and relatives.
The advent of mobile phones in the Kingdom has led to greeting cards becoming obsolete. The practice of texting Eid greetings is also on its way out as smartphones equipped with an Internet connection make it easier and cheaper to send messages to loved ones.
People who are unable to read or write are also using the new technologies to exchange voice messages or pictures. Moreover, subscribers of telecom companies make attractive offers of Internet package deals tempting more customers to prefer the Internet rather than the traditional phone call or text message (SMS) to send Eid greetings. Most telecom companies have registered an increase in demand across all their services with mobile data services representing the biggest growth.
Almost all telecom companies have announced special packages for prepaid customers, widely used by expatriates, for voice calls, SMS and data package on different volumes. On the other hand, subscribers of telecom companies also registered satisfaction with the services during the busy Eid holidays.
The popularity of 4G technology in the two holy cities has doubled from the previous year with all leading telecom companies in the Kingdom. The Saudi Telecom Company (STC), a leading service provider, has installed 202 new sites for 4G data services in the two holy cities during the Eid holidays to cope with the rush.
It has also installed 226 new sites to boost 3G data services in the holy cities during the Eid holidays with 248 boosting stations for signal reception in addition to 10 mobile boosting stations to cover areas with weak signals, according to STC sources.
Other service providers such as Mobily and Zain have also put up additional hardware in the holy cities to address the increased rush of data services during the Eid holidays.
Visitors from different parts of the Kingdom were seen struggling to plug their phones for power recharge inside the holy mosques’ areas with people spending long hours in front of electric sockets.
Abdul Karim Yahya, an Ethiopian expatriate, told Arab News: “Eid greetings have lost their warmth and the personal touch with the usage of smartphones which use smart applications to send messages in one click.” He added that it was also quick and almost free.
Abdul Fataha, a Filipino worker, recalled nostalgically how he used to spend long hours at the public telephone booths installed in the streets to call his family in the Philippines on Eid day. “But now everything has changed,” he said wistfully. He added that Eid had lost its real spirit as people increasingly resort to digital technology to greet one another with mass messaging apps and social media.
Abdulaziz Qahtani, a Saudi employee, said: “I used to spend a lot of time during the Eid holidays to visit families and friends and wish them a happy Eid. But, there would always be someone whom I had left out. However, with WhatsApp, I can now write a generic ‘Eid Mubarak’ message and send it to hundreds of people."
Abdullah Shahabuddin, a Bangladeshi worker, echoed similar sentiments when he said that he used the smartphone with a data package to call up all his relatives in Bangladesh at low cost. “Now I can even hear my daughter’s voice on WhatsApp,” he said happily.