There is a popular ad on the radio where a little boy is heard talking about Greek gifts. He explains how the other network provider his father uses gives fake data that usually finishes fast. The network provider responsible for the advert is clearly shading his competitor in it. It then says that it gives the true data value for subscriptions.
If you use any of the network providers in Nigeria, then you understand the struggle. There is hardly any data plan that lasts for a full month, even though the validity time is a month. The fact that you can buy a data plan of 10GB and, after one week of liking celebrity photos on Instagram, you run out is super disturbing.
It isn’t any better with Wi-Fi subscriptions. There are unlimited plans that cost about ₦35,000. The trick with these ones is that there is a cap. Once that cap is reached, that’s it! The user starts to experience unending internet problems. The internet also starts to move at a snail pace, and pretty much nothing works from there on.
At some point, it will be worth asking these data providers what plan would work for a month that won’t slow up. The unfortunate part about this is that they usually cannot confidently provide a proper plan that will work.
It is almost like these data plans are designed to last for only a week or two. For some reason, they never make it till the end of the month. To make matters worse, some network providers give you the mouthwatering cheap data plans that give you gigantic data for little money. The dilemma with investing in this is that it will probably never work. You will spend hours downloading a three-minute music video.
Speaking On The Gs
Long story short, 3G and 4G is a scam. The speed does not ever measure up and, on the occasion that it does, it runs out faster than a housefly. The fact that they say they offer speedy internet is the biggest marketing gimmick ever. Somebody needs to be in jail for it. There is almost no such thing as 4G in Nigeria.
5G is coming and, in an advanced fairly honest country like the UK, 10GB data ran out in no time. Imagine what our network providers will provide as 5G. It will be almost unaffordable. There are still a lot of concerns about 5G technology. Some of the valid concerns are health-related, and Nigeria is not ready for a technology-induced epidemic at this point for very obvious reasons.
However, the fact that 5G internet may be something that Nigerians are looking to get around here is not very realistic any time in the near future. Another huge concern is that we do not really give cognisance to cybersecurity. Other countries are, pretty much, holding tech companies accountable for privacy and data. But who is checking what atrocities they are getting away with in Nigeria?
Can we move forward?
The regulations around the dispensation of data by network providers should really be checked. How long do we continue like this? For a country with such a high population of young internet users, something should really be done.
A conspiracy theory posits that maybe this is how the government intends to carry out its own online censorship. If we make it expensive to stay on the internet, then maybe these young people will behave themselves online.
This is pretty much a punch in the gut for a country that desperately needs to develop. Developing countries in Africa like Nigeria can do more with making data more accessible and more affordable. The scamming especially is terrible for development and the future of the continent.
This is not to mention countries like Chad that have been without the internet for years now because of the terrible government regulations. Everything is going to the cloud now, and tech money is the new oil money. Some will even say it is blood money. For us as a continent to advance, we need to be on par with the rest of the world with technology. If we cannot have basic and affordable internet, how do we then compete?
To be honest, Nigerians are not necessarily holding on to the ambition of free road Wi-Fi. Although, famous music producer Don Jazzy said he was working on this at some point. What happened to it? The point though is that Nigerians just want to be able to access the internet. Majority of the population just want to communicate or do basic business anyway. They should be able to do this without being swindled and at a reasonable cost.