Finally the much-awaited introduction of the third mobile operator has come to pass. Eagle Mobile, is now functional and customers in Tirana and Durres can start to register their own personal number(s) at the company’s shops in these two cities. Currently, coverage is provided only for the Tirana-Durres and Airport zones. Reported plans are to cover the entire country by the end of summer.
However, when I for me it was somewhat of a disappointment! Their mobile phone charges did not differ that much from the other two mobile companies. Only the internetwork calls were slightly cheaper, but again, not that big of a difference as was expected.
The only good package was the Internet one, which offered about 1 Gigabyte of transfer for about 3,700 Lek per month.
Albanians have been waiting for over two years for the introduction of this third mobile operator, mainly with the hope that it increased competition in the market would lower the very high mobile charges that we pay. According to estimates, Albanians pay the highest charges in Europe, but no one has been able to change this situation and the existing mobile companies continue to profit, while the hole in our pockets gets bigger.
Especially if you have a contact number (like I do), meaning one that you pay on a monthly basis, it can become quite a burden. Most of my friends who have a contract number like I do pay anywhere from 4,000 to 15,000 Lek per month. The later figure is what most Albanians make a month on wages, so you can imagine what that can do to your personal and family finances.
The fact remains that despite its high cost, mobile communication remains indispensable to most people, but that still does not justify the status quo.