In the wake of a recent petition by Android users demanding for a special data plan from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), there is a release going round on certain Nigerian blogs and forums claiming that the Nigerian Communications Commission has “passed a bill” to compel network operators to create special low-cost data plans for Android users. The release states as follows:
We Congratulate all Android Users as NCC has finally Passed the Bills to the Service Providers and they Complied easily as they all Promised to Unveil their Subscription Plans for Android Devices as Instructed by NCC.
Android Users can now enjoy what Blackberry Users are Enjoying, Cheap and Affordable Internet Subscription.
NOTE:– According to our Reliable Source, NCC Further Instruct all Service Provide to Charge N1,000 for 1GB, N2,000 for 2GB etc but should be able to Limit all Data Plans to Andriod devices alone.
They Further Explain that, The Data Plan will not work on PC, whether you Share Internet via Hot-spot to your PC or other Devices other than Android or Remove our SIM and Insert your Modem.
I have contacted representatives and management officials in charge of network data plans in two of the mobile networks with the question: “Is there any shred of truth to this claim?”
“None” – Data services manager at one operator [This person in particular would know]
“I don’t know. If it is indeed true, it must have been in the works for a while and not just in response to the petition. Such things take time”. – Data support rep at one network
“No such news yet on the Android plans” – Manager at one network
So, a petition was kicked off online (not through the formal NCC channels) three weeks ago, and the NCC has “finally” passed a bill to compel all four network operators to introduce special Android data plans? That fast? The same NCC we all know?
Then also, the idea of NCC “passing a bill” indicates that the above release about the NCC compelling networks to create special Android data plans was conceived and written by someone who has no knowledge of what the NCC does.
As already clarified before, the concept of special data plans for Android is odd, as there is no basis for it without Google stepping in to make it happen. If lower data tariffs will indeed come, they will be generic data plans, such that anyone using any smartphone can use them. The BlackBerry plans are possible because BlackBerry is involved. If we ever see special Android data plans, you can be sure that Google worked behind the scenes to make it happen.
I am all for cheaper mobile data plans in Nigeria. We need them. I’d love to see 1GB data plan for N1,000 too. Even better, I dream of a 3GB plan for N1,000. But this Android users petition and this claim are ridiculous in every way. You should take these with a good dose of salt.
PS: Is there anyone who would love to champion/lead a crusade for lower generic data tariffs through proper NCC channels? MOBILITY blog would love to get involved in pushing that. Do get in touch.