Nigeria flag phone

Too often, it can be frustrating being Nigerian AND living in Nigeria. It often looks like there is more to complain about than to celebrate. As someone has said, it often feels like everything in Nigeria is trying to kill you. As we mark Nigeria’s 57th Independence day anniversary today, this is an opportunity to reflect and to consciously choose a way forward.

Nigeria's 57th Independence Day - Nigeria flag phone

It is true that a lot depends on our political leaders. No doubt. The Nigerian population has been failed again and again by leaders who have promised and not delivered on their promises. That is huge. Let me put it this way: I am 44 years old and not one federal administration has delivered what it promised us in all the years in all of those 44 years. Not one.

So, what do we citizens do? Do we throw up our hands and resign ourselves to despair? I say no.

Be Inspired!

One fateful day in November 2006, I started a website called GoSmartMobile to share free and useful information about mobile technology to help Nigerians put phones and services to good use. Later, I made the switch to MobilityNigeria in 2008 (and later MobilityArena). Why did I start down this path? I saw one thing in Nigeria that excited me. One thing that I knew I wanted to spend my life doing. One thing that I felt I could make a difference doing. Mobile technology.

MobilityNigeria was a pioneer tech blog in Nigeria and has remained at the fore-front of tech blogging not just in Nigeria but on the continent. But tech blogging in Nigeria wasn’t a vibrant field then years ago. But I set myself to it and stuck to it even when it was the most tedious thing to keep pursuing. As a result of MobilityArena’s leadership, a whole industry has blossomed around tech blogging in Nigeria today. There are scores of Nigerian tech blogs in existence today. It is true that many have come and died. But many more are thriving today. And it will get better if we keep at it.

One Thing

What is my point? We can each take one thing. Just one thing (well, if you can embrace two or three or ten, all the better). We can find that one thing that excites us and invest in making a difference in that field. Make that your contribution to the building of the Nigeria you want.

Through this blog, people have come to understand mobile phones and services better. Individuals and small businesses have learned to deploy mobile systems for their operations. Other tech blogs have been inspired to start. We have crusaded for better services, helped attract attention to the potentials and opportunities that exist in Nigeria, and much more. That small spark that I felt in me when GSM technology arrived Nigeria in 2001 has brought me down this road and helped me contribute my bit to the Nigeria project.

Nigeria's 57th Independence Day

Why do you need to embrace something that excites you? It is because in the kind of harsh environment we live in, everyone needs self-motivation. And nothing is as effective as motivation from doing something that really, really excites you.

I do not know about you, but doing something that I am sincerely excited about keeps me going.

Do it; Don’t talk

Nigerians love to talk. We are widely known as a garrulous people. Even our leaders govern by speeches. A lot of talk and not much commensurate action. Choose to be different. When you make a decision to excel, just go do it. The famous line from the movie, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, says, When you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”

That is good advice. When you have decided to be exemplary at something, just go do it. Let your results do the speaking.

Happy 57th Independence Day Anniversary!

Nigeria may not be all that we desire it to be right now. I am betting that for most people, it isn’t even close. But we will get there. Embrace that thing that keeps you excited and motivated and use it as a channel to contribute to nation-building. It may be technology, agriculture, banking, teaching, or even politics. Hopefully, someone reading this article and who gets inspired by it will one day become President or governor and deliver on their promises to the people.

Happy Independence Day. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

internet-speed

I originally titled this article, “Nigeria ranks poor in mobile internet speeds in Africa”. I eventually decided against it and changed it to “These are the fastest mobile Internet speeds in Africa”, then to the present title.

If you have lived in Nigeria for any period of time, you will be familiar with the frustrations that many mobile internet subscribers face regularly. 3G internet connections often feel like EDGE connections, and many times, 4G LTE mobile internet speeds feel like 3G connections. It is a pain that I know personally.

OpenSignal has published a report on overall speeds around the world. It is based on 19 billion samples collected by more than 1 million OpenSignal users in 87 countries globally. The sampling was conducted from November 1st, 2016 to January 31st, 2017.

The fastest mobile Internet speeds in Africa

The report presents the top African countries in term of mobile internet speed, and it is no surprise that Nigeria is at the bottom of the list:

  1. South Africa: 9.93 Mbps
  2. Côte d’Ivoire: 7.64 Mbps
  3. Morocco: 7.36 Mbps
  4. Tunisia: 7.21 Mbps
  5. Kenya: 6.75 Mbps
  6. Ghana: 4.81 Mbps
  7. Nigeria: 4.13 Mbps

Even with 4.13 Mbps, latency remains a huge problem in Nigeria. Latency refers to the delay a user experiences after clicking a link before the page starts downloading. On a fast network, once the page starts, it loads fast. But that initial delay means that the whole browsing experience is unpleasant.

fastest Mobile Internet speeds africa

Nigeria has at least eight (8) 4G LTE networks, yet subscribers on these networks constantly have complaints about the experience on almost all of them.

The country with the fastest mobile internet speeds in the world is South Korea with an average of 37.54 Mbps. Nigeria is only five places from the last position globally. One can only hope that our broadband, 4G LTE networks are paying attention and get gingered to sit up. Check out the full report HERE.

Skype WhatsApp calls

Once again, Nigerian telcos are beating the tired drums of how services like WhatsApp calls (voice and video) and others are eating into their revenue. Apparently, those of us who buy data from your network to make voice and video calls on WhatsApp, Skype, BBM and others are costing the telcos a whopping NGN 20tn. To rectify this impact on their account books, the telcos want to block those services.

Let me be as clear about this as possible: this plan to block WhatsApp calls and others like it is bollocks. We pay for data to make those calls. Why not just get more subscribers to buy more data and make your killings off that?

Skype WhatsApp calls

Is Nigeria the first country in the world where people make WhatsApp and Skype calls? How have telcos in the US, UK, Italy, Japan, China, India and elsewhere turned the uptake of WhatsApp calls to their financial benefit? Who are the numbskulls behind this lazy approach?

The whole world is moving forward and Nigerian telcos want to moonwalk back into the stone age? Has the government infiltrated the ranks of the telcos? Because in Nigeria, it is only in government circles that a harebrained approach like this gets floated and implemented. You know, like several policies in the last one year that have taken us back to the 80s and early 00s.

If Nigerian Telcos Block WhatsApp Calls

Anyway, rants do nothing. Actions are everything. Here is what I advice Nigerians to do if telcos block Skype and WhatsApp calls.

  1. Stop buying data from any network that implements such a block.
  2. For your data needs, switch to data-only networks like Smile, Ntel or Spectranet for all your data needs. Because they are data-only, they want you to make all the WhatsApp and Skype calls that you can make. Data is their only income.
  3. To use those data-only networks, their SIM cards work in compatible phones. Or just buy a mifi and put their SIM in it for use.

It really is that simple. Subscribers will allow those networks that want to make more money from voice and data to do so. We shall see if they can afford to lose the crème de la crème of their data subscribers.

12 months ago, the Nigerian telecoms regulatory body had made a public statement that they had no plans to regulate WhatsApp calls and similar services. Whether the NCC is back-tracking or not, telcos blocking OTT services (Mobility 101: What is OTT) will be a very expensive mistake on the part of the networks. They want to start a war they cannot win.

PS: If the NCC backtracks and gets in bed with the telcos to require that the afore-mentioned data-only operators to also block OTT services, we will look for other ways and we will educate subscribers on how to use them. However this goes, the Nigerian subscribers will not give in to this madness. We, the subscribers, will win this one.

This is 2017. No-one should be locking down what internet subscribers can do or not do with the data they paid for. It is free data, after all. *drops mic*

Airtel logo

Bharti Airtel has announced that it will be exiting 14 African countries within a year. The affected countries include: Chad, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The telecom operator is faced with poor performance across those markets. Two years ago, when Airtel began talks to sell off its operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone to Orange, the company had stated that it wouldn’t be exiting Africa.

Struggling Home And Abroad

Apparently, Airtel’s foray into Africa hasn’t paid off so well. Back then, the sale of those operations was done to reduce the company’s debt portfolio. It seems clear that things haven’t worked much any better for them in other African markets since then.

In Airtel’s home country, India, Reliance Jio is giving them a big run for their money and messing things up for everyone. In Nigeria, Airtel is the only one of the big four mobile operators that is yet to launch a 4G LTE network. Perhaps the company does not see it as a profitable venture, given the present circumstances.

The Odd Case of Airtel Nigeria

Airtel Nigeria seems cursed to continually be sold off by one owner after the other and consequently continually be rebranded. The network which started as ECONET Wireless Nigeria has undergone several acquisition and rebranding exercises that it has become its trademark. It went from ECONET Wireless Nigeria to Vodacom Nigeria to Vmobile Nigeria to Celtel Nigeria to Zain Nigeria to Airtel Nigeria. When this exit operation is finally concluded, once again, Airtel Nigeria will undergo another identity change. The 6th one since it landed on the country’s shores. Amazing stuff, really.

Source

The super thin Moto Z is now officially available for purchase in Nigeria. The Moto Z is just 5.2 mm thin, has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, a Qualcomm® Snapdragons 820 processor, and 4GB of RAM. You can check out the full Moto Z specifications.

Moto Z

The Lenovo Moto Z Smartphone currently retails for ₦250,000 at the Lenovo Slot Brand Store on Medical Road, by Computer Village, Ikeja, all Slots Stores and Spar Shops in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

digital divide Africa

Back in 2005, mobile networks in Nigeria were offering GPRS internet but with limited deployment, marketing and subscriber uptake. Internet penetration in Nigeria was very low. I wrote about the way forward for bridging the digital divide in Africa as a whole, with a special focus on Nigeria. See: Bridging The Internet Divide In Africa with mobile data. The summary of my argument then was that the mobile networks offered the best opportunity to bridge the internet divide significantly and speedily.

Exactly as I postulated, African countries ended up bridging the digital divide via mobile networks. In Nigeria in particular, internet penetration took a leap forward when the mobile networks later deployed 3G internet and began marketing them aggressively. It has been largely the same everywhere else across Africa. Mobile data saved Africa.

digital divide in Africa

The Digital Divide in Africa: What Has Changed?

The question now is whether anything has changed since 2005. Here is a quick summary of the situation on ground today:

  1. most internet subscribers in Africa are on mobile internet i.e. GPRS, EDGE, 3G, and 4G
  2. cable internet connections are still expensive and mostly restricted to high brow areas in a few major cities
  3. In good news, Africa is better connected to the rest of the world via several submarine cables
  4. Unfortunately, non-mobile ISPs have remained small players for the most part; as such, their impact on the population remains rather small
  5. Another thing that has not hanged is that Quality of Service by most ISPs and mobile networks remain very poor
  6. In recent times, data tariffs have dropped significantly
  7. It must also be acknowledged that more content is being created and uploaded now across Africa than ever before
  8. Africans are earning much more from digital (online) work than ever before

As we can see from the above list, it is a mixed bag. There are huge changes in some areas and very little in some others. In terms of the ISP landscape, not much has changed across Africa in 11 years. Of course, some operators have shut down, others have been acquired, some merged, and new entrants come on stream. However, the big picture hasn’t changed much. Quality of service hasn’t improved either. Subscribers are still plagued by the same issues as from years before.

A major significant change includes the fact that the continent now has superb capacity via submarine cables. This has led to lower tariffs paid by subscribers.

It has also spilled over into greater employment and income generation. Whether it is consumer content like text, images, audio, video, or backend work like programming and software development, people all across Africa are churning out products and services. And they are earning much more than ever before. Huge multitudes of young Africans are carving out the future of their dreams via productive use of the available internet connectivity.

We are no longer where we used to be, but there is a lot more to be done to bridge the digital divide in Africa and achieve greater internet penetration. The goal is to improve productivity and earning power everywhere on the continent.

GLO BlackBerry

Back in November, we brought you need that Etisalat was the first Nigerian network to discontinue the once popular BlackBerry Internet Service. Well, we have news that Glo has followed suite and discontinued the service on their network as well. The discontinuation was effective December 17, 2015. According to the report, all Glo BlackBerry plans are no longer available for purchase or renewal from that date.

Excerpts from the statement on Glo’s website read:

Dear Customer, starting December 17, 2016 BlackBerry services on your device (BBOS7 devices) will no longer be available. You can still continue to use the device to Call and Text. We request you to migrate to a BB10, Android, Windows or iOS handset to use your remaining data.

This means that blackberry services for Blackberry OS7 & below, will cease to function. Impacted handsets i.e. Bold, Curve, Torch, Storm, Tour, Porsche will not have access to Blackberry internet services and Enterprise services. Note: All Blackberry 10 and above OS device will continue to work as normal.

Glo BIS discontinued

Glo BIS has been a popular one among cheap data seekers in Nigeria. Its popularity was probably influenced by the fact that subscribers could tweak the IMEI of Android smartphones to use the service on those phones. As such, BlackBerry smartphones were not required to enjoy the great data value on Glo BIS.

As you can imagine, this discontinuation will be a great blow to the few Glo subscribers using that service. But they had it coming. BIS subscribers are too few to make keeping the service running profitable.

BlackBerry smartphones – and hence BlackBerry Internet Service – was once the toast of Nigerian mobile users. The BlackBerry was a status symbol and a cheap means of getting mobile internet access. As such, it met the needs of two distinct social groups – those who needed to make a statement and those who needed cheap internet access. It was no surprise that the brand became the largest smartphone brand in the country.

That age is long gone now and BlackBerry now commands a tiny share of the Nigerian smartphone market. With both Etisalat and Glo BIS now discontinued, it is only a matter of time before MTN and Airtel capitulate too and let it go.

You can get all the details about this discontinuation of BIS on Glo’s BlackBerry data plans page.

Nigeria flag phone

Here are all the key facts and figures about mobile phone usage in Nigeria in 2016. Of note in this Nigeria mobile phone report is the figure for active unique users. The practice is for total mobile subscription figures to be bandied about. However, it is common knowledge that individual users often have multiple lines and internet connections.

The NCC says the active 223 million as at August 2016. That is higher than Nigeria’s population of 180 million. The question is, how many individuals own those 223 million lines? Plus, do businesses who own active lines count? Certainly not. Have a look at the statistics for 2016 broken down into figures that individuals and organisations can use to plan.

Nigeria Mobile Phone Report

Nigeria Mobile Phone Report 2016

  • 223 million active mobile lines
  • 52 million unique mobile subscribers (that’s 29% of the total active lines)
  • 97 million active mobile internet connections
  • 30 million unique mobile internet users
  • 22 million active smartphones (many of those smartphones do not have an internet subscription and in other cases, the users don’t care for apps)
  • 48 million mobile phones imported
  • $3.5 billion in imports
  • 80-85% of Nigerians online access the Internet through their mobile phones
  • 33% of mobile users reside in five states: Lagos, FCT Abuja, Ogun, Kano, Oyo
  • Lagos accounts for 13% of total mobile subscriptions

If you have an aversion for hype, please ignore all the noise and overblown figures being thrown about everywhere about mobile/smartphone/internet users in Nigeria. This is a country where the top downloaded bank, news and e-commerce apps have less than 5 million downloads each. And for a country that is hugely religious, the top church/religious apps are struggling to clock 500,000 downloads each.

Take the above figures I have provided and work your business plans and projections around them. Thank me later.

data tariff hike

A data tariff hike is imminent in Nigeria as operators act on an NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission) directive. Mister Mobility explains why it is happening.

I needed to renew my MTN data plan last night and proceeded to dial *131# to do so. After completing the process, the line ran the USSD code and then I got a prompt saying: “Connection problem or invalid MMI code”. I have tried to renew several times since that time and got that same prompt each time. Finally, this morning, I called the MTN customer care hotline and got the following pre-recorded audio message first:

“Dear customer,

Please be informed that from the 1st of December 2016, all MTN data plans will be changed in compliance to NCC directive to all operators. Thank you.”

data tariff hike

A colleague using Glo 4G internet got this message:

Dear Customer, your plan will soon expire after which you will be moved to Flexi voice and data recharge. Use it the way you like. To buy another data plan visit http://hsi.glo.com or dial *777#.

Amazing. Apparently, there was some directive from the NCC to the effect that mobile operators make changes to their data plans. The fact that this notice has been put up tells us that the changes will not be good. They will not result in a further drop in tariff. Nigerians can expect an increase in mobile data plan tariff from the 1st of December, 2016.

Why The Data Tariff Hike?

Nobody I have spoken to is giving me any details of why this is happening. Apparently, everyone is keeping hush about it. But I can make an informed guess.

This NCC directive happened to keep the big operators like MTN, Etisalat, Glo and Airtel from killing the smaller ones like Smile, Spectranet, Swift and Ntel. Like I have commented earlier, the big four stepping into 4G LTE and offering those ridiculously low data tariffs meant that sooner or later, the smaller players will pack up.

Think about it: the four big operators have much better coverage, presently offer more competitive tariffs and are deploying 4G LTE across the country. The smaller players have zero leverage in this scenario. Zero. The smaller players have no competitive advantage whatsoever. This will lead to loss of many jobs and collapse of investments. The country cannot afford that.

There is no other valid reason I can think of behind a directive to increase data tariffs by the operators. Outside of this reason, Nigeria stands to gain much more from the recent reduction in data tariffs by the mobile operators than from a tariff hike.

To be certain, this data tariff hike will be unpleasant to many Nigerian internet users. It is unpleasant to me. I am not excited about it in any way. But it looks like a necessary evil to avoid a greater one.

Meanwhile, the renewal problem I am experiencing on MTN is likely to be from backend activities to modify their system in readiness for December 1st. What the new tariffs will be like is still unclear. Will the big operators revert to what was on ground before the recent drop in data tariffs or find a middle ground? December 1 is around the corner.

PS: Is any Nollywood movie director already working on a movie titled “December 1”?

Update: This The Cable news report confirms that the imminent data hike is a measure to protect small operators and new entrants. The NCC has re-introduced the floor price for data service. Small operators and new entrants are exempted from the re-introduced interim floor price for data service of 0.90k/MB. The price floor for data was earlier removed in November 2015

Excerpt from the NCC directive:

In order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry, small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably, small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted from the price floor for data services.

It added, “For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 per cent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market.

Update: Wednesday 30th November 2016: The NCC has suspended the directive on data segment price floor.

Huawei Mate 9 Nigeria

Huawei has announced that the company’s 2016 flagship, the Mate 9, powered by the company’s new Kirin 960 chipset, will be released in Nigeria. The Huawei Mate 9 is a 5.9-inch smartphone running Android 7 Nougat and featuring the company’s Leica camera.

The new chipset is an upgrade to the Kirin 950 chipset used in the Huawei Mate 8. It was introduced to provide a smoother, faster and more secure Android experience for the company’s customers. It also provides a great balance between performance and power consumption. The Mate 9 is the first smartphone to carry the new Kirin960 chipset. Kirin 960 supports Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali G71 GPU, and UFS 2.1 storage.

Huawei Mate 9 with Kirin 960

What to expect from this Kirin 960 smartphone

In brief, here are the enhancements that Kirin 960 brings to the Huawei Mate 9:

  • smoother everyday performance
  • long battery life
  • smooth experience with augmented reality games
  • great photographs from the dual camera
  • finance-level security
  • HiFi audio quality
  • Support for 20 4G bands
  • 4G download speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • fast fingerprint scanner

Nigerians mobile subscribers will be delighted to know that the Mate 9 supports all available 4G LTE networks in the country and has a dual SIM variant as well. There is a big 4,000 mAh battery and fast charge as well. You can check out the full specifications of the device HERE.

Opera Mobile Report

Opera has released a State of Mobile Report for 2016 and the results are very interesting. This report sheds light on the opportunities and challenges seen with the use of Opera’s services in Africa. The company already boasts of 100 million users online. We sifted through the report, and gleaned out relevant information for you:

Opera Mobile Report

Opera Mobile Report Highlights:

  • Nigeria is the most “mobilised” country in the world, ahead of South Africa and India, with 76% of internet traffic going through mobile.
  • Between 2011 and 2016, smartphone penetration rose by 121% from 7 million to 15.5 million. Opera Android users grew by 5,379% in the same period.
  • Opera users on Mini and Max in Nigeria saved approximately $280 million worth of data costs in 2016.
  • As of June 2016, Nigeria has 16 million Facebook users, and 70% of them access Facebook through Opera Mini.
  • Android users make up 42% of overall Opera Mini users.
  • Nigerian, Kenyan and South African Opera users collectively saved data equating to over half a billion US$ in 2016.
  • By market share, Opera is the top mobile browser in Nigeria with 71.8% users. This is followed by UC Browser (10.47%), and Chrome (5.6%).

We also discovered that Nigeria lags behind in mobile application usage (at 19%). Other African nations like South Africa (31%) and Ghana (28%) are leading. Meanwhile demand for  TV and Video content consumption is high in Nigeria with 57% of Nigerians yearning for it. Interested folks can download the full Opera Mobile Report here.

smartphone cleaning

Everywhere you turn in Nigeria, one network or the other is deploying a 4G LTE network. From the big four mobile players to the smaller kids on the block like Smile, Ntel, InterC, Spectranet and Swift, there is an abundance of 4G service providers to pick from. To enjoy 4G internet, you will need a 4G smartphone or modem/mifi/router. If you are on a lean budget and are shopping for the best budget 4G smartphones available in Nigeria, we have done the homework for you.

Best budget 4G smartphones

Best budget 4G smartphones: Mobility Arena Pick

Forget all the other lists for cheapest 4G smartphones that indicate devices costing NGN 50,000 and above. Our list below gives you the most affordable 4G smartphones in the market.

  1. Yezz Andy C5VP: NGN 20,000. See full specifications. Here is our Yezz Andy C5VP 4G test results, as well as our Yezz Andy C5VP review.
  2. Lenovo A2010: NGN 29,000
  3. TECNO W3 LTE: NGN 34,000
  4. Lumia 550: NGN 31,500. See full specifications.
  5. BlackBerry Q5: NGN 37,000
  6. Alcatel Pop 4: NGN 38,000 – 40,000. See specifications.
  7. Alcatel Pop 4 Plus: NGN 38,000 – 44,000
  8. Blackberry Q10: NGN 44,000

Unfortunately, we do not have a review for all the above-listed budget 4G smartphones, so we can’t provide you with more detailed information about them. Note that the above prices vary from one retailer to the other and also change as currency exchange rates fluctuate.

Important!

Do not forget to check whether the 4G phone you want to buy is compatible with your network of choice. You might want to read this help article: 4G LTE compatibility: before you buy that 4G smartphone.

You may also want to see the Mobility Arena list of 4G LTE networks in Nigeria as a reference document.

Cheat Sheet/Expo

Slot is currently selling their stock of BlackBerry 10 smartphones at huge discounts. For example, you can get the Q5 for NGN 20,000, the Q10 for NGN 25,000, and the Z30 for NGN 30,000. These are 4G smartphones. Hurry, if interested. It is a limited offer promo.

Please Share!

If you have found this article helpful, do share on your social networks and with your family, friends and colleagues. Help us assist as many people as possible. Thank you.

Glo Nigeria data plans

Internet penetration in Nigeria has come a long way since GSM technology was launched in 2001. The advent of the mobile networks saw the emergence of internet access that was available nationwide. But cost has always been an issue. In 2013, someone had a dream of when 3 GB mobile internet data for N1,000 would be available to Nigerians. I responded then that it would happen soon. From then on, the cheapest data plan in Nigeria inched on gradually towards that goal post.

cheapest data plan in Nigeria

When we speak about the cheapest data plan in Nigeria, we are looking at a plan that is usable all through a month at the lowest cost possible for users of generic mobile phones and smartphones. This excludes BlackBerry internet Service (BIS) users, who are becoming an extinct breed anyway.

In 2014, it sort of happened, but you needed to buy a 24 GB plan at the cost of N8,000 to get the equivalent of 3 GB for N1,000. That was far outside of the reach if the average Nigerian. That has now changed and in 2016, there is a 30-day data plan that offers more than 3 GB for just N1,000.

The cheapest data plan in Nigeria

Network: Glo 3.2 GB data for 30 days Cost: N1,000

This is currently available on the Glo network. The awesome thing is that whether you are using a 2G phone, 3G phone or 4G phone, this data allocation is available across board. 2G/3G users can subscribe to the above plan. 4G users too can subscribe to a 4G plan (called 4G LTE 1000) that offers 3.2 GB for N1,000. The validity period is 30 days.

  • Glo Always Micro for 2G/3G subscribers
  • Glo 4G LTE 1000 for 4G subscribers

Even better is the fact that it is shareable across multiple Glo lines. Think of the possibilities. For one, two people can spend N500 to subscribe to the plan and then share usage.

In summary, the cheapest data plan in Nigeria is the 3.2 GB plan by Glo.

How To Subscribe

To subscribe for 3.2 GB data for N1,000, dial *777# and follow the prompts.

mobile phones changed Nigeria

Since the telecommunication sector was deregulated in 2000 and so far, it has had a ripple effect in almost every facet of the lives of Nigerians. It has also impacted heavily in other sectors of the economy. Jumia Travel shares a few ways in which mobile phones changed Nigeria.

mobile phones changed Nigeria

Improved Communications

As at 2000, Nigeria had no more than a few hundred telephone lines. There was a huge gulf between total population and access to telephones. Mobile phones changed that. Today, 8 out of 10 Nigerians own mobile phones of all kinds. The result has been a dramatic improvement in access to telecommunications. Almost every Nigerian has a mobile phone. Some have and use multiple phones.

Mobile Banking

Mobile phones changed how Nigerians send and receive money. You no longer need to visit the bank anymore to send money. Just fiddling with a few buttons on your phone, you can transfer money to your friends, family and loved ones within seconds.

Health

Mobile phones now help us avoid counterfeit drugs. With the war against counterfeit drugs intensifying in Nigeria, you can now send text messages on your phone to confirm if your drug is fake or not. So, you don’t need to worry anymore about the drugs you purchase.

Entertainment

Mobile phones have made it easier for users to access movies and movies without paying. This technology has simplified the distribution of songs and movies. As an artiste, you can upload your songs and videos on YouTube and interested Nigerians can listen and download. Also, there are music and video streaming sites where users can buy your content.

Employment

This is one of the most obvious impact mobile phones is having in Nigeria. There are prepaid card sellers all over the place and many Nigerians have been employed by mobile telecommunication companies and associated channels. Also, a new digital economy is blossoming in the country from the increased access to internet services.

Education

Not everyone owns personal computers but with their mobile phones they can access download online textbooks, and access e-libraries, as well as have access to research materials. Hence, you don’t necessarily need to have a PC anymore to educate yourself and embark on research.

Mobile phones changed Nigeria

Indeed, mobile phone changed Nigeria in many ways. The above are just a few mainstream ways in which it has. Do you have other areas that mobile phones have changed how you work and play and live in general? Share with us in the comment section below. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!

It is raining 4G LTE in Nigeria. Your head must be swimming now if you haven’t lost count of 4G LTE networks in the country now. Etisalat is the latest right after Glo a few days ago. Say hello to Etisalat Nigeria 4G LTE.

Etisalat Nigeria 4G

Etisalat Nigeria say their 4G LTE band is 1800 and the speed is between 25Mbps and 100Mbps. The network also says that, unlike with the competition, you do not need to swap your existing Etisalat SIM cards. Apparently, Etisalat launched with 4G-ready SIM cards in the country. 

It looks like the Etisalat Nigeria 4G service hasn’t been activated at my location. When I put my SIM in a compatible phone, it doesn’t connect to the 4G network though Etisalat 4G network is listed as available when I do a manual network search. 

However, other Etisalat subscribers across Lagos are reporting being able to connect. Have an Etisalat SIM and a 4G LTE smartphone that supports Etisalat Nigeria 4G frequency? Give it a shot and let us know how it goes. 

cheap mobile phones tecno

Data is not cheap in Nigeria. You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that. The trend got better in recent years, mostly because of the competitive pricing by telecom networks. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, Nigeria has cheap mobile phones and expensive data plans. Kenya, Philippines, and China suffer the same fate, though to varying degrees.

ireport - cheap mobile phones

It will interest you to learn that the reverse is the case in places like Vietnam, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Even more interesting is the fact that the report also revealed further details of how digital payments can improve Nigeria. Here are some key snippets for you to snack on:

  • Out of about 177 million people in Nigeria, 87% have network coverage, 44% have mobile phones, and only 7% have smartphones.
  • Only 2% of adults have mobile money accounts
  • Focusing of digital finance/payments in Nigeria can reduce government leakage by $2 billion.
  • Digital finance can create 3 million jobs.
  • By 2025, digital payments can boost Nigeria’s GDP by 12.4%
    report-digital-payment

The report states that provides lots of interesting figures and provides useful information that investors, tech and financial startups, and government can put to use. It is amazing how many opportunities remain untapped in a vibrant smartphone market like Nigeria. We have a country sitting on a mobile gold mine. You can download and view the full report HERE.

licensed ICT practitioners

Last night, I ran into a tweet stating that all Kenyan ICT practitioners will required to be licensed under a new ICT Practitioners bill. Here in Nigeria and elsewhere on the continent, we have heard the same song and drum beats. African governments seem obsessed with the idea of having bodies of licensed ICT practitioners. Which is odd, because they are the ones who understand it the least.

It is odd because many government officials are clueless about ICT and the new digital world. And now you want to regulate it. No. By all that is good and holy, no. What governments should be doing is churning out friendlier policies for the ICT industry in their countries. You know, policies that provide power, affordable internet, and make starting up and building easier.

licensed ICT practitioners

The continent is riddled with a huge lack of these vital factors. African governments have done very little to build, develop and support the army of young men and women that they now seek to license (read: control).

In Nigeria, for example, while these young men and women educated themselves at huge personal costs in order to learn these ICT skills, government spent billions of dollars on placating militants and largely turned a blind eye to the silent revolution in the ICT sector.

The revolution is happening without licensed ICT practitioners

Still in Nigeria, young, vibrant lads and lassies have been building great stuff for years without government’s meddling. Vikanti. Konga. CcHub. PIN. EasyTaxi. Yudala. Slot. Paga. Had government licensing been in place, I dare say that many of these young people building great stuff against all odd would not have qualified. It would only have succeeded in putting one more stumbling block before them. No, sirs. Forget this licensing thing.

Unlicensed Nigerian ICT practitioners have built great websites, developed great apps, developed and rolled out great software. What these smart people need is not government licensing. Where would Nairaland be otherwise? If government licensing was a requirement, MobilityArena.com would not have been built either.

The global revolution happened without licensed ICT practitioners

Facebook. Twitter. Amazon. Google. WhatsApp. All these brands and many more that we use daily were built mostly by unlicensed people. Some of them were people who dropped out of school to chase their dreams. They built great products that even these governments use today.

No Extra Hurdles

African governments won’t build, develop or assist ICT practitioners but are ever seeking to control and dictate to them. Attempting to implement a required licensing before ICT practitioners anywhere on the continent is just putting another stumbling block in the paths of young, visionary builders. These youngsters need to continue to develop themselves and hone their skins without the imposition of government’s limited thinking.

Whether it is in Kenya or Nigeria, what Africa needs is a wider, more open environment in which innovation and technological development can happen. Regulation of practices in the ICT sector works fine enough, but Africa does not need licensed ICT practitioners.

4G war between LTE and WiMAX

There was once a 4G battle between LTE and WiMAX. In lay man’s terms, both LTE and WiMAX are siblings that deliver 4G broadband internet. They are different technologies and both fought a battle to get picked as the world’s favourite LTE platform. The battle was fought in Nigeria too.

4G battle between LTE and WiMAX

WiMAX lost the 4G battle in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Networks like MTN HyNet, Spectranet, Multilinks, Swift and others all setup commercial internet services with WiMAX. All of those listed above have since converted to LTE. Like CDMA lost out to GSM, WiMAX has lost the 4G battle to LTE. WiMAX is dead in Nigeria. Eventually, perhaps it will go extinct worldwide as the human race plunges ahead with LTE for 4G broadband internet.

Globally, WiMAX didn’t stand a chance either

Globally, WiMAX smartphones did not take off strong either. There are few WiMAX mobile networks compared to LTE networks. It was even worse with compatible smartphones. Very few of them were ever made. HTC announced the first WiMAX enabled mobile phone, the Max 4G, on November 12, 2008. The device was only available to certain markets in Russia on the Yota network. Every where in the world, LTE deployment has left WiMAX in the dust.

If the technical differences between LTE and WiMAX interest you, see this guide.

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