Former Digicel CEO John Ingel is the latest to come to Bahamians.
Former Digicel CEO John Ingel is the latest to come to Bahamians.

Dear Editor,

Vice President of Sales and Marketing for NewCo, Johnny Ingle, said “This, I find most interesting because Bahamians are ready for another choice on the market and expect a superior offering from day one and rightly so, we should always expect the very best.” Mr. Ingle must have forgotten that NewCo promised the public that they would be ready to launch their network by October 1st which was six long weeks ago. Instead, they had their brand unveiling of Aliv with cheap knock-off cell phones that you can find in TOYS R US.

These knock-off phones can be purchased for as little as $40 or $50 dollars, but NewCo is selling these phones, with 30 days of unlimited data, at $500 and $600 dollars. Can this be right? Think about it! This means the customer is buying a cheap knock off phone for $50 dollars and the so-called unlimited data for 30 days will cost you an eye-watering $450 dollars. The average prepaid costumer in the Bahamas on BTC doesn’t spend that amount of money. Compared to the competition, even if you reactivate your prepaid package 3 times a week with BTC you won’t spend any where near as much money as you would with NewCo monthly.

Bahamians are use to smartphones not cheap ineffective ones. Cheap phones are always defective and come with other problems. Some of the phones come with functions and features that even the originals do not offer! In spite of the “loaded features”, they are cheap in terms of price compared to original versions like Samsung and iPhones, which BTC has the exclusive distribution rights in the Bahamas. Fake and cheap phones are now widely sold in mobile shops throughout the Caribbean and US. Many places in Africa, for example, cheap knock offs are quite popular because of their prices, but they don’t last. Yet, many shops sell them as original devices to gullible buyers. It is only later that the buyer learns he has been cheated when the phone begins to malfunction.

Fake and cheap phones, in general, heat up and cannot take long usage. They also risk causing a minor explosion as they often come with a low-quality battery. Fake phones can be detected by their weak performance as they usually have technical problems right from the beginning. Most of the time they don’t work or respond to local telecommunication networks. I wonder if URCA will ask NEWCo when importing cellphones to put a credit stamp of quality and legitimacy on all of their inventory?

Cheap knock off cell phones, delays in their launch, and pricey monthly data – What else can we expect from NewCo? Bahamians like new things, but if it’s suspect, unreliable and very expensive from the beginning, then MY BROTHER you will have an uphill battle getting people to support you. Seeing is believing and Bahamians are hands on people, who prefer to see something working first rather than taking someone’s word blindly.



Troy Smith