For the first time in many months, Nigeria fell off Opera Mini’s top 10 countries list, while Vietnam made its debut.
Here are other statistics from the report:
- Nokia and Sony Ericsson are by far the most popular handset brands chosen by Opera Mini users in the CIS
- Users in the top 10 countries save up to 672 million USD per month, or over 8.1 billion USD per year
Behind the Scene
Apparently, part of the phenomenal growth of mobile internet usage in Nigeria stemmed from the widespread practice of illegal free browsing, as subscribers generally by-passed network tolls (usually by tweaking certain settings in Opera Mini itself, alongsideother applications on PC).
Of recent, it has been reported that both MTN Nigeria and Zain Nigeria took steps to curb this practice, blocking off access to Opera Mini’s servers, and thus resulting in the recorded drop in usage. If the networks are able to keep hackers off their mobile internet services, we can expect to see Nigeria drop further on the Opera Mini chart.
Those rooting for illegal free browsing because of supposed high mobile internet tariffs need to explore legal options. For example, the very same Opera Mini that the hackers use to bypass network tolls deliver incredible savings on browsing because of its compression technology.
Personally, I have used Opera Mini extensively and even with my heavy usage, a 100mb bundle subscription (costing just N1, 000 per month) is more than adequate when used on Opera Mini. Even pay-as-you-go internet is made much more economical.
This is an application that already helps the subscriber cut costs by as much as 90% (that’s almost free browsing, if you really, really think of it).
Is it too much to let the network operators make that small margin just so they can keep access to the Opera Mini servers alive? In my opinion, this free browsing craze is not the product of poverty, but of gross selfishness, self-centredness and of corrupt minds.
But what do we care?