Nigerian Telecoms’ apex regulatory agency, Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) has revealed the reasons why users of Android smart phones and tablets pay more for data in Nigeria.

The commission says it is not turning a deaf ear to the lamentations of Nigerians noting that the differences in data allowance for Android and Blackberry users have been generating a lot of controversy among consumers of late.

NCC via its official Facebook page stated that while BlackBerry indirectly subsidises bandwidth for its users by compressing the content downloaded, Android downloads and consumption was not compressed therefore leading to the expending of more bandwidth.

Via PUNCH reports:

The regulatory agency says it is still committed to protecting Nigerians against unfair practices by telecoms service providers in the country.

According to the NCC, Internet subscribers using BlackBerry smart phones pay far less than their counterparts making use of Android devices because BlackBerry Limited (Formerly Research in Motion) utilises a special algorithm to serve its users better.

Writing on its Facebook page, the NCC argues that BlackBerry indirectly subsidises bandwidth for its users by compressing the content downloaded by subscribers.

Unfortunately, the NCC adds, downloads and consumption was not compressed for Android phones. The result is that Internet surfing on such operating devices will require more bandwidth.

The NCC says, “The manufacturer of BlackBerry utilises a special compression algorithm to serve users of Blackberry handsets who have subscribed for the Blackberry Internet Service. Whenever such a subscriber browses the Internet and opens a webpage, a request is sent via the handset’s browser requesting for the page to be downloaded to the phone.

“This request is channelled to BlackBerry Limited’s gateway in Canada, which fetches the webpage, compresses it and sends the compressed data back to the BlackBerry phone as a download.

“On an Android phone, the request to open a webpage by telephone subscribers is sent to the gateway of the network operator, which then processes the information and sends back the page to the Android phone as a download. But the data is not compressed – thereby requiring more bandwidth.”

As a way out of the current predicament of Internet subscribers on Android devices, the NCC notes that there is a need to make bandwidth cheaper and more accessible for Nigerians. This, it argues, requires the successful implementation of the Broadband Roadmap of the Federal Government.

The Broadband Roadmap aims at achieving a fivefold increase in broadband penetration over the 2012 penetration rate by the end of 2017. Traditionally, broadband refers to high-speed communications networks that connects end-users at a data transfer speed greater than 256 Kbit/s.

In the Nigerian context, the Ministry of Communications Technology defines broadband as an Internet experience where the user can access the most demanding content in real time at a minimum speed of 1.5 Mbit/s.

Noting that bandwidth in Nigeria continues to be “an expensive resource,” the NCC blames the development on the dearth of wired infrastructure.

“Most data are transferred wirelessly. This is the reason why the NCC is promoting wired infrastructure around the country through such projects as WIN (Wire Nigeria) as well promoting a Broadband Roadmap for the country which will greatly reduce the cost of bandwidth, thereby reducing the cost of browsing the Internet on smart phones,” it explains.

The commission states that as the regulator responsible for promotion of fair competition in the communications industry, it will continue to protect consumers’ interests against anti-competitive and unfair practices.
Noting that the services of its Consumer Affairs Bureau are rendered free-of-charge, the commission explains that its offices across the country, alongside its online platforms, are available to receive complaints on telecoms services.

Dissatisfied consumers, the commission says, may lodge complaints by calling its Contact Centre toll-free number, 622, to present the facts of the matter for onward resolution.
Such details, it says, should include the name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail of the dissatisfied customer; a statement of the problem and the duration; as well as a brief explanation of the circumstances that led to the complaint and name of service provider.

“Telecoms consumers have the right to be informed, the right to safety, the right to choice, the right to be heard and the right to good quality of service. We protect the rights of Nigerian telecoms users by mediating between the consumer and the operators and protecting consumers against fraudulent and unscrupulous dealings,” the NCC says.

Posted From iProdigy Group Nigeria(Dabibi Ori-ibim’s Blog).

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