Anyone who is familiar with the mobile internet terrain in Nigeria must be already aware of the numerous free browsing tricks in circulation.
It started innocently years ago with one or two individuals stumbling on a loophole in the settings of one or more GSM networks and simply riding on that to enjoy the free internet connection those loopholes afforded. Thereafter, it developed into a deliberate and elaborate hunt for those loopholes, and today it is a massive industry. Just take a trip to Nairaland.com to have a glimpse of how widespread and deep this phenomenom has become.
It seems that the “bounty hunters” find a new loophole as soon as an existing one is blocked by any of the operators concerned. When challenged, bounty hunters point to “high internet tariffs” or the “injustice of operators” as justification for their actions. I will leave that subject between them and the network operators.
However, I cannot help but wonder how unproductive the attitude of many of the free browsing addicts is. One would have though that having access to free internet usage would encourage subscribers to take advantage of the internet’s huge resources for self development. But most seem to just waste the priviledge on downloads, instant messaging, social networking and personal mails. While I am sure that there would exist a few sensible users who are putting the free access to purposes of self, academic and economic development, by and large much of the free browing is often valueless activity.
Years of free browsing, and very little to show for it. Shame, for a country in need of much development.