Sierra Leoneans seem worried over communication insecurity vis-à-vis receiving countless calls and messages from unknown numbers and from countries the likes of Nicaragua, New Papua Guinea, others etc, using the Airtel network.
Their fears are that in this day and age where apparently terrorism is of world concern, they (Airtel subscribers) have been troubled with the frequency of calls from unknown numbers from especially countries far away from Sierra Leone.
This, according to them, has created grave panic amongst considerable number of Airtel mobile users.
Aminata Baryoh, a subscriber explained how for every two/three days she will receive calls from unknown numbers and from countries she neither has a relative nor a friend.
Momoh Sesay equally has expressed frustration over what he called: “an out of the ordinary calls” to his Airtel number, which according to him is endangering his privacy and exposing him to insecurity.
“It is either someone is hacking us or Airtel as a company has exposed us to would-be terrorists. We are certainly not safe at all,” he said.
In the recent past, there was systems problem at Airtel, that which has resulted in its network systems crashing for almost 72 hours, an incident that affected the socio-economic life of people who relied on the network to transact their businesses.
It could be recalled that in March this year, the National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM), fewer civil society organizations, mobile operators and service providers (Airtel, Africell, ONLIME, Iptel, Sierratel) were at the Bintumani hotel hall, where incidentally they agreed on %50 tariff increment on voice calls on the pretext that within four months they (the operators/service providers) will necessarily improve on their networks.
But that in merely two months of such an undertaking, numbers believed to be terrorists prone have had enjoying times tapping private numbers of hundreds of Airtel subscribers, in a manner completely suspicious as they attempt do things uncalled for of society unrestricted.
Our attention is also drawn to the frequently used strange numbers as we here published them verbatim: +675708894113, +67570897812, +232722258384, etc.
Airtel’s Public Relations Person, Samuella admits such has been happening but claimed it is ‘SIMBOX’ fraud, and that as a company, they have had selfless moments collaborating with NATCOM to have unknown conspirators arrested and dealt with according to law.
She did not say whether such is linked to terror threat though.
However, she said the use of strange numbers by unknown persons has to do with hacking.”
Reference must be equally drawn to situations in which subscribers buy mega byte yet could not access programmes in the internet.
A case in point is circumstance in which subscribers regretfully have not been able to effectively use their
whatsapp even after buying huge mega byte from Airtel.