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Android in Nigeria

When Android based smartphones began to flood the Nigerian market, one major grudge users had against them were their data-hungry nature. The Android Operating System has a witty way of running down your data bundle faster than you could bargain. But there was hope. The Blackberry Internet Subscriptions (BIS) were cheaper, and this meant that users could at least use their Blackberry Data Subscriptions on other non-Blackberry devices, since it was allowed at that time (except for some really stubborn network provider though, names withheld).

Airtel stops BIS on Android, iOS and PC

Anyway, somehow they all began to withdraw this privilege one after the other, and the last of them, Airtel Nigeria, held on to giving Nigerians the opportunity to use their Blackberry Internet Subscription (BIS) on Android, iOS and PC. This led to a huge surge in customer base, meaning even more network congestion and more strain on their servers. Sometimes growth could be troublesome, don’t you think?

Airtel No BIS announcement
Airtel No more BIS on Android, iOS and PC

Bad news now is, news just came in that Airtel Nigeria plans to stop allowing BIS usage on Non-BB devices. Maybe it’s because of the strain on their servers they are doing this, I have not yet ascertained, but it really is bad news.

What are the implications on the Airtel Network?

From the responses to this announcement, users are certainly not happy with this development. I’ve seen some Airtel subscribers that bought their SIMs and have never made a single call with them! Their SIM cards would begin to seem useless to them after December 3, if Airtel sticks to this plan.

This may mean a loss of customer base, but let’s look at it from a technical perspective. If the strain on the servers are becoming unbearable for network infrastructure, maybe this was a necessary way to cut down on the overhead, at least before upgrading their network infrastructure to cater for the rising number of subscribers.

UPDATE (5/12/2013):

Report has it that you can now use your ETISALAT BIS on other non-Blackberry phones.

How?

1. Dial *499*3# (costs 1000 Naira/month) OR *499*3*1 (costs 500 Naira/week) OR *499*3*2 (costs 100 Naira/day)

2. Dial *599*3*2# (costs another 100 Naira)

3. Set your APN to blackberryx.net

Use at your own risk (Like I said, we’ll always find our way, huh?)

Well, what next?

Well, just as we have always done, Nigerians will find a way around this, won’t we?

What do you think? What are your opinions? Have your say in the comment box 🙂

If you have other smart ideas, the floor is open..

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