In a recent post by Mister Mo titled Have you used any free WiFi hotspots, the majority of comments including mine was a resounding No, with the few who answered in the positive complaining that the service was either slow or unusable.
When you consider that of the many popular tablets out there, including but not limited to the Amazon Kindle Fire and the newly released Google Nexus 7, are WiFi only devices, you can see how big the problem is. Even the Blackberry Playbook is a WiFi-only device. The redeeming feature in its case is Blackberry Bridge which shares the user’s BIS connection from their Blackberry smartphone.
Recently, I put out a post titled Why I am getting the Nexus 7 and while a majority were impressed with the specs and the fact that it is a Google tablet, the issue of it being a WiFi-only device cropped up and there folks had a rethink.
Unlike what obtains in developed environments, Nigeria does not have wireless hotspots dotting every corner. Usually, individuals have to come up with their own internet, by subscribing to one or more internet bundles.
Let’s factor cost here. Assuming that I want to get a Nexus 7 now, I first have to have a way of providing internet to it. If I choose to use my smartphone as a hotspot, doing so will probably kill my battery faster than government repairing the Lagos-Benin expressway. The alternative may be to get a MiFi device or a WiFi router.
Now, let’s calculate and sum of the prices. MiFi devices currently cost around N20,000. Add the cost of a Nexus 7 – N51,000 (estimated) + 6GB data bundle N7,500. All these add up to N78,500. That is not cheap, at least for the average gadget buyer who just wants an affordable tablet.
I know that this subject has been dealt with in a different guise, but it is such a big issue that. If you were to purchase a WiFi-only tablet, how do you intend to get internet service for it?