Wednesday, May 1, 2013

3G Video Calls Unknown In Nigeria?

3G Video Calls Unknown In Nigeria? The advent of Global System for Mobile GSM communications in Nigeria some years ago, ushered in a new level of communications among the Nigerian citizens. In fact, it was held in some circle then that, telephone was the big men, thereby sidelining and ultimately locking the access door to telephony services against the poor. This was so evident at the inception of GSM operation in Nigeria, as only well to do and very few others could afford a Sim card with a phone, that was selling as high as N30,000 in 2001 by the foremost operators, MTN and the then Econet. Today, the power of communications is now very much accessible and maintainable even by the very poor that was denied yesterday. All thanks to the competition that came as several operators were granted access to do business in the Nigerian telecoms segment of the economy. With billions of dollars investments by the various operators, and the roust business empire it has created among other markets in Africa, Nigeria indeed is a haven of telecoms success story. However, the benefits of the GSM operations in Nigeria, have over the years be restricted to voice services, as a lot of people taught that, all a handheld telephone device can do was just to call, hear and be heard by the parties exchanging such calls. This of course is the layman understanding of a GSM service(s). With the constant evolutions in the technological strata in the world over, particularly as it relates to how and the use of telecommunications gadgets, it should be noted therefore, that GSM services goes very far and beyond voice services. Again to the layman, this may appear strange. Nevertheless, GSM has other services that majority of the populace may never use or cannot use, by reason of the knowledge and the technology involved for its successful usage. The second most recognized product of GSM is the ability to surf the internet. This was a service that could only be accessible before the introduction of GSM in Nigeria, by visiting cyber cafes. The operators of these cyber cafes were having a field day at that time and into several years of GSM operations but, not any more. In fact, there are fewer cyber cafĂ© operators today as a result of the ability of GSM phones including the ‘ordinary’ ones to access the internet from the comfort of the individual owner’s home. Now, with the government licensing these GSM operators to now offer 3G services, with different operational fees, most Nigerians including my humble self, have also restricted the services of 3G to mean surfing the internet with a higher speed as against what ordinary GSM license could offer. Just like in the case of GSM, 3G has more services it can offer other than just surfing the internet at a ridiculous high speed on the network of the operators that currently have its coverage in selected cities and towns across Nigeria. The essence of the post is on 3G video calls. Why is 3G video calls unpopular among the Nigerian telecoms subscribers today? Is it that the operators themselves careless about creating the awareness among their subscribers to embracing the service? Or, does it mean that 3G video calls is ‘too expensive’ that a subscriber can afford? These and many more are questions begging for answers. Moreover, when you visit the ‘Phone Section’ of a popular Nigerian Forum, Nairaland – www.nairanland.com owned by Seun Osewa, you will discover the wonderful testimonies that Nigerians are sharing among themselves about how they enjoying their 3G network in their domain to the maximum benefits. This usage is however restricted to surfing the internet on high speed, without a single mention of using this same 3G on making video calls. Over the years of 3G introduction to Nigeria by the telecoms operators, one aspect they were capitalizing during their adverts was video calls amongst other services. Nigerians, is 3G video service known or unknown to you? As a user of high end Smart phones and Tablets, do you video call on your gadgets? Why is 3G video calls unpopular among Nigerians today? All rights reserved. lugardosas@gmail.com