This morning, I was reading yesterday's newspaper, Thisday. In my
usual style, I skimmed over the front page, found nothing of value to
me, and proceeded to flip through the other pages. I read a few
paragraphs of an article about the Five Nigerian banks that got their
CEOs fired, paused at a few ads about cars (I like cars), flipped some
more, and wound up on a colourful green page with a smiling lady, and
a blackberry. This was an ad from Glo Mobile Nigeria. Page 65.

"Enjoy the fastest and most stable Internet", it said. Well, partly
true, the network is quite stable, but not in the last week though.
"Fastest" isn't quite true though. Etisalat for instance, has (I have
heard from word of mouth, and seen this in two towns myself) EDGE in
all their coverage areas. EDGE is twice as fast as GPRS under normal

But that is not what I am preaching about today. The lowest rates in
town????? Great Heavens!!! Where is APCON? This is misleading
information. Ah, yes, there is an Advertising Practitioners Council of
Nigeria, APCON ad on page 41 of the same newspaper.

If you continue examining this ad, you will realise that only
blackberry users are entitled to this deal. No qualms, let's see the
what's on offer.
A 10MB plan @ ₦4,800, valid for 30 days.
A 3MB plan @ ₦1,500, valid for 7 days.
A 1MB plan @ ₦400, valid for 1 day.

This all works out to 39 kobo per kilobyte for the 1MB pack, 49 kobo
per kilobyte on the 3MB plan, and 47 kobo per kilobyte on the 10MB

Let's pretend that the upside-down economies of scale offered by this
deal are not a problem. With simple math, if we consider one megabyte
to be 1024 kilobytes, and consider effective throughput on a GPRS
network to be 4 kilobytes per second, you will realise that you will
exhaust one megabyte in four minutes of browsing. This is what you are
expected to pay ₦400 for, and use for a full day. You will exhaust 3MB
in 12 minutes, and 10 megabytes in about 40 minutes of use.

A cursory look at the competition reveals that MTN's smallest
subscription plan costs ₦500 for a 50MB pack. A relatively healthy 1
kobo per Kilobyte. For their 3GB, ₦2,500 nightly plan, the most
significant digit in the cost per kilobyte is in the 7th place to the
right of the decimal point.

We have ways to go in our quest to bridge the proverbial digital divide.

Fanen Ahua
Random quote: Cruickshank's Law of Committees: If a committee is
allowed to discuss a bad idea long enough, it will inevitably decide
to implement the idea simply because so much work has already been
done on it.

Affordable Software

I read an article today about software pricing. It mirrors my feelings about the cost of software exactly, and is the primary reason why I started using linux in the first place, and why I don’t buy any useful apps for my Nokia E51 Symbian based phone.


I hope Symbian developers (or Nokia) adopts this "price the software as cheap as you can, and make money off volume" strategy. It makes sense. I don’t see what will ever persuade me to buy a Mobile app for any thing above $5 USD.

Yes, I hate using pirated software. Thanks. Yes, I know what developing software involves, and I also know that it’s a develop once, duplicate a billion times thing.

Random quote: The other day I… uh, no, that wasn’t me. — Steven Wright