Two sides to GSM in Nigeria at 10 – Part One

This is Nigeria. It is the year 2011 and we are counting 10 years of the introduction of the Global System of Media communication (GSM) into the country. Before the introduction of GSM technology, the number of connected phone lines in the country was 450,000 out of an estimated population of 120 million people.

GSM in Nigeria at 10

Like most things, GSM has had its good, bad, and ugly sides, just like the two sides to a coin. This article looks at the first part, the positive effects.

GSM was received warmly when it landed here on our shores. Why wouldn’t we have received it warmly? A revolution was about to occur. We had been denied communications. Our lives and the economy were about to get better.

The Positive Impact OF GSM in Nigeria at 10

  • Our Lives

    We communicate better now than before the advent of GSM. In addition to standard communications, we record spectacular moments of our lives, listen to music, transfer videos, install and run applications on our device, etc.

    Our social life is better as our relationships, friendships, are kept alive through communication.

    Even our conduct of business has taken a different turn.

  • Our Economy

    Recently, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) pegged the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the industry at about US$15billion.

    GSM has stimulated significant job creation, with a tremendous impact in the economy. The sector is said to be the highest employer of skilled and unskilled labour in recent times.

    Various sectors of the economy, have witnessed unprecedented growth with the integration of GSM technology (voice and data) into the running of corporate organisations.

    The financial sector is one of such sectors. With the introduction of mobile banking, a customer has full access to his or her bank account right at his or her finger tip. Now we have e-health, e-banking, e-security, e-education, etc.

    On the corporate social responsibility front, individuals and communities have benefited from the actions of service providers and phone companies. Some have provided educational facilities, medical facilities, sponsored health campaigns, and events, among others.

    Between 2001 and 2007, the federal government earned over US$ 2.5 billion from spectrum licensing fees alone. Taxation and import duties have also contributed to the revenue of the federal government.

How has GSM positively affected your life and business? As an individual, how do you feel going through a day without your GSM mobile phone?

Continue To Part Two

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12 comments

  1. You just about mentioned them all. For me, there are travels within the country that have been taken care of by simple phone calls, emails or text messages.

    I could remember in the early 2000s, waiting in a business center for my turn to have the business center operator open my mail box for me. This normally takes between 6 to 8 minutes and a minute is charged at N20. That’s about N120 to N180. And that’s only to check if I have a new mail. Opening the mail and reading it or even sending one is a different story.

    Now if I’m on pay as you go ie per KB of data consumed, I can conveniently check my mail with less than N5 from my phone. Things have really improved.

  2. You just about mentioned them all. For me, there are travels within the country that have been taken care of by simple phone calls, emails or text messages.

    I could remember in the early 2000s, waiting in a business center for my turn to have the business center operator open my mail box for me. This normally takes between 6 to 9 minutes and a minute is charged at N20. That’s about N120 to N180. And that’s only to check if I have a new mail. Opening the mail and reading it or even sending one is a different story.

    Now if I’m on pay as you go ie per KB of data consumed, I can conveniently check my mail with less than N5 from my phone. Things have really improved.

  3. Sorry for being off topic…Harry whats your twitter handle pls? Or how can i contact You? Wanna ask something…

  4. i’d say my mobilephone usage evolved much quickly. I’ve been using mobile internet from the days of CSD, jumped on the GPRS wagon at launch first with glo and then MTN. My cellphone helped eliminate any need to make the trip to the cafe for me since 2004. Accessing my mails and news via WAP, now mobile internet has firmly taken hold in Nigeria with most people using mobile apps like Opera mini, UC Browser, Facebook, Twitter, Nimbuzz, 2go etc on a daily basis add that to the influx of USB modem and slightly more affordable data plans. it’s really been great over the last ten years, and the days of going to the cafe to make international calls are now firmly behind us as it costs less for one these days to place a call to someone in the USA than your next door neighbour (as Yomi pointed out some days ago on twitter)

  5. pls is there anything like an unlimited data plan for symbian phones from any of the mobile networks in Nigeria? D monthly 100mb doesnt even last more than a week for me with just normal surfing. I need answers pls

  6. Its a good thing to ve gsm in Nigeria but this people are liars Airtel,Mtn their new plan they introduced to doesn’t work at all most especially Airtel. They said that by 12:30-4:30 free calls on net, free 4mb or 3mb but all are lies they reducts money after taken 25 naira by mtn daily on funlink reloaded or Airtel big family after I used even more than 3minutes pls help me talk to them or the Ncc I ve complained so many times to them but all the same I’m tired of them thanks.

  7. I know u are like a voice of the poor masses today pls don’t fail to help me push my complains to the high authorities I’m looking forward to my reply thanks. Apostle Body

  8. @emele
    as far as i know there isn’t any truly unlimited data plan they are usually subjected to a fair usage policy, but if you require something more than just 100mb you best turn your attention towards airtel and glo which have a better data allowance (200mb) for N1000 or their smartphone data plans that allows you 1GB for N3000. You can check their website for more details on it.

  9. or you can gt any of nokia 8 ,e7 & another one which i can’t remember at the moment so that you can subscribe to 6 gig data plan whi will be valid for 6 months on glo network for just #7,500.it’s the best data plan ever in nigeria !browsing with this plan is almost free,bc the same 6 gig will cost you 60,000 hairs on man !

  10. Wonderful article by Izi. Keep it up. In addition to agreeing with the well laid articles, I would like to point out a little correction in the first line of this 1st part. The acronym, GSM is Global System for MOBILE Communications and not Global System for Media Communications as was published.
    This is to prevent erroneous references to any Mobility article.

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