If you’re one of Vodafone’s 28 million customers in Egypt — and you’re resident in one of the hotspot areas of the country demonstrating dissatisfaction with the Government — chances are, you might not have mobile service.
Vodafone Egypt has been ‘obliged to comply’ with the Government order.
Telecoms company Vodafone says the Egyptian government has ordered all mobile telephone operators to suspend services “in selected areas” of the country.
In a statement, the company says that “under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it.”
I’m not at all impressed.
I rely on my Vodafone service here in the UK. I’d be flipping outraged if the company decided to deactivate it’s services because the UK Government was in a flap.
I can’t imagine what I’d be thinking if I was an Egyptian paying for a service that has been suspended because my Government wanted it so.
I think it’s bad form on Vodafone’s part. Hugely bad form.
However I suspect it’s not an easy situation though, given that the Government — with all those tanks and guns — is currently in the position to threaten Vodafone’s business interests in the country if it didn’t comply.
At what point, then, does a billion-dollar global company like Vodafone say, ‘screw you,’ and keep its services live? Probably until the Egyptian Army arrive, I suppose.
Whatever your viewpoint on Egypt, you can’t help wondering that a Government that arbitrarily removes basic communications facilities from swathes of its population isn’t quite healthy.
I also have to point out that I understand it’s very easy to have an opinion when you’re living in a sleepy town in Buckinghamshire and when the height of daily frustration is a cancelled train.
What’s your view — was Vodafone right to play along with the Egyptian Government?