From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Realities About Zain Sierra Leone
Aug 19, 2010, 21:16

Zain Sierra Leone is the leading provider of mobile communications in Sierra Leone. With just over ten years of experience providing services in Sierra Leone, Zain services are delivered through a versatile and reliable network.

Zain is synonymous with reliability and their products are found in the maritime, media, mining, construction and high technology industries, as well as governments and aid agencies for mission critical communications. Zain products and services are used to improve voice and data communication, security of assets while increasing operating efficiency.

Mobile communications have had a tremendous diffusion rate in Sierra Leone in recent years. This has brought access to new user groups, among them Fishermen at Tombo based in the Western Rural District.

During a field study in the Rural District, interviews with fish boat captains were conducted in order to investigate what impact mobile communication have on the livelihood indicators; empowerment, opportunity and vulnerability to risk. The research showed Zain is the most reliable network and that increased access to information, enabled by their extensive spread of network brings positive effects to all indicators. Zain also proved to be the most affordable in that on-net (Zain to Zain) and Off-net (Zain to other networks) are within the reach of the community people. As of now, Zain to Zain calls are billed at ZERO units per minute at some time of the day and as high as 9 units per minute for other times. Calls to other networks are billed at 15 units per minute. Zain promotes the most reduced tariff on SMS than any company in Sierra Leone presently.

Information on the network empowers, both through increased bargaining power and increased control over external events. Communication on the Zain platform gives increased knowledge about market opportunities and a possibility to work more efficiently. Furthermore, Zain gives fishermen a possibility to take measures to decrease the risks they are exposed to, such as emergencies out at sea due to access to communication wherever they are at sea. The negative effects are found negligible. These effects are most likely not isolated to Tombo fishermen. Communication through Zain network has brought similar advantages to other groups that have earlier been excluded from the communication system.

There are a great many advantages of Zain that caused it to spread across almost every field of daily life today in Sierra Leone. Affordability coupled with accessibility continues to give the company a competitive advantage. Their World Class products and services have improved peopleís ability to stay in touch with friends and family. Families spread across the One Network zone can communicate inexpensively through both voice and data.

Zain has also changed the landscape of entertainment. People can access hundreds of downloads from their web enabled phones, getting instant access to enjoyable information. The information contained in MP3 files can be transmitted in seconds over the Internet, enabling listeners to enjoy music anytime and anywhere. This is more common with the youth segment that the company is presently commanding.

Zain has also changed the way in which people work. It is now possible to stay in the most remote areas of Sierra Leone and be in constant touch with your head office through submission of reports via Zainís USB modem and also using services like VPN, BlackBerry and so on. These advances made by Zain have not only undeterred people from desks, but have also made it possible for people who might traditionally be unable to be in the workforce to have exciting jobs and contribute to the business community.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.