By Nkem Ndem
Have you ever found yourself in a dire situation where you need to make a super urgent call but your phone network will just not connect …or it connects but you cannot hear the person, vice versa?
Problems with mobile phone reception in Nigeria is quite recurrent, and while mobile networks are continuously spreading coverage and installing new phone masts to cope with the increasing demand, the frustrating dilemma does not seem to be letting up.
Whereas poor signal strength could be your network carrier’s fault, there are many other reasons why you might be having phone signal issues, and thankfully there is a lot you can do to improve the cell phone reception by yourself. Jumia Travel, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking portal, presents 4 ways to optimize your chances of getting the best mobile phone signal possible.
Switch to 2G network
Most mobile phones produced in recent times come with the option of a 3G and 4G network. While these networks are designed to deliver high bandwidth to cellphones, they are easily limited as they are affected by distance between the transmission tower and the cellphone, the farther away you are from one, the weaker the signal is going to be. In situation where you are out of required range and the 3G/4G can no longer function properly, try switching your phone to a 2G network instead. The 2G may offer a lower bandwidth than the newer counterparts and so may be slower, but it has decent coverage in most places and is certainly much more reliable. An additional advantage of switching to 2G is that you have higher battery power; your battery will not drain quickly since 2G doesn’t require that much power.
Try installing a cellular repeater
Also known as cell phone signal boosters, cellular repeaters are very good for addressing poor cell phone reception by amplifying a weak signal received via an external antenna and bypassing any obstructions to rebroadcast it over a given area through an internal antenna, providing a strong signal to an area that was originally lacking. Despite being a concrete solution for multiple users having signal problems and a common solution for urban settings, repeaters have been known to have some difficulties. Not only do they all need at least 2 bars of signal where the antenna is placed to function, some repeaters might need technical know-how such as the frequency of your carrier to set up and the device tends to be quite expensive.
Contact Your Network Service Provider
If you are quite certain that your network issues are not consequent of certain signal blockades around your location or as a result of your position, you should definitely call your network service provider. As a paying subscriber, you have the right to let your provider know when their service is not working for you and request for solution to be provided. In Nigeria, this might not be as easy as it sounds. Most times a call can take hours as there is usually a long line of calls waiting. Alternatively, you could make contact via social media. Most network service providers have social media handles and the response via this medium is much quicker.
Change your Network
If the network issue persists, the best option might just be to port to another network. Ensure you search for the best service in your range which also offers the best deals before making the switch. Almost every network provider in the country have their individual masts/towers and operate independent of one another using their own frequencies. There is a huge chance of improving your network by porting to an entirely new network. Good thing is that most networks allow you to keep your original phone number when you change provider.
Nkem Ndem is a PR Associate at Jumia Travel.