Some Nigerians who make use of Android phones and Java operating devices have taken to social media to protest against what they call ‘exorbitant’ cost of Internet subscription being charged by telecoms firms.
Also part of the protest are those who use smart devices such as i-Phone and Windows phone.
They alleged that they are not getting value on their subscription plans, compared to users of BlackBerry phones in terms of data allowance and prices.
The users who besieged various social networking sites urged the Nigerian Communications Commission to prevail on telecoms firms to address the issue, so that they can begin to enjoy same benefits BlackBerry users enjoy on their platforms.
To register their displeasure, some subscribers have launched an online petition on change.org. The petition is titled “Telecoms Service Provider in Nigeria: All Data Users Demand Fairness.’’
The petition, which has attracted 40 signatures, reads, “The Nigerian youths are crying out loud. We need a better data plan for Internet access on our smartphones. The present data plans are too expensive compared to the bandwidth.’’
The petitioners have also tweeted their complaints to the handles of the various telecoms firms as well as the NCC. The hashtag #AllDataUsersDemandsFairness has also been employed by the subscribers to register their protest on the social network.
Writing on the Facebook wall of the NCC, one Ugochukwu Samuel argues that the situation where he gets between 200 and 350 megabytes for N1,000, while those on Blackberry get between 1 and 3 gigabyte for N1,000, is “unfair.’’
He states, “As a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I wish to express my right by urging the Nigerian Communications Commission to see to the review of the data cap attached to the subscription of data on smart phones such as Android, IOS and Windows by our network providers.
“I demand a fair data plan. In comparison to the Blackberry plan, which is considered slightly affordable, subscribers on Android get between 200 and 350MB for N1,000 while those on Blackberry get between 1 and 3GB for N1,000.
“We wish that prices for data are made more affordable for Nigerian youths who rely on the Internet for resources which are not easily available within our society. In solidarity with other youths fighting for this cause, we shall continue to lament and express our desires until we get a positive intervention.”
Also reacting on Facebook, one Musa Rasheed writes, “We need a fair data plan for Android devices. These telecoms firms are charging just too much for nothing. Paying N1,000 for just 260MB worth of data is unfair. Other countries get better deals. NCC, please come to our aid. We’ve suffered too much in silence. Now we are tired.’’
A member of the online forum, nairaland.com, with the name, My Hobbies, urged telecoms firms to provide them with a similar package BlackBerry that users enjoy on their platforms, which allow them to get a fair value for their money.
“Android phone users are not happy with what our local telecoms firms are doing to us. We the Android phone users should be given a special package like that of BlackBerry plans. The current system, where they make us subscribe to MB worth of N1,000 and above, and they give us between 200MB, and 250MB is not fair at all. We all know how Android can drain megabytes. NCC, please, do something,’’ he adds.
When our correspondent contacted the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, he said there was nothing the agency could do about it, because it was not a regulatory issue.
He said, “We (NCC) don’t regulate technology. BlackBerry is a peculiar service different from other platforms. NCC doesn’t provide Internet services and the enquiry is not a regulatory issue.
by Temitayo Famutimi