Showing posts with label mobile communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mobile communications. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mobile Communication: Umuodagu Ntu and excruciating poor network

Mobile Communication: Umuodagu Ntu and excruciating poor network

~ By Nwaorgu Faustinus

The advent of Mobile telecommunication industry in Nigeria is traceable to 1999 and present democratic government. Prior to 1999, telephone be it landline or walkie-talkie was seen as one of the rare luxuries of the rich. But the coming of mobile telecommunication operators changed the situation for the better as every Tom, Dick and Harry have accesses to one or two handsets. That is why its arrival and operation was seen as a great achievement of the former President of Nigeria, Chief. Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

Initially, MTN, the first mobile telecommunication company was given license to operate followed by ECONET which metamorphosed into Vmobile first, then Zain and now Airtel. The last mobile telephony network but not the least is Etisalat. Apart from these four major telephony networks, there are also others that are regionally based.

Though the impacts of these four major mobile networks are well felt in urban areas the reverse is the case in some rural communities. Since half a decade of the advent of some of the mobile networks, it is sad to state that their signal, service or network have been abysmally poor in rural villages. It is the expectation of mobile telephone users in the villages that given the inception of mobile telephony industry, their areas would have been covered with the mast of various mobile telephone network operators.

One of such villages is Umuaka, in Umuodagu Ntu, which is in Ngor/Okpala Local Government Area. It is disheartening to note that in this quiet and serene village one hardly makes or receives calls from the comfort of his or her bedroom, parlor, kitchen or compound without walking for two to three kilometers in search of network signal. This is not good for rural mobile telephone users.

This writer who has written a related piece titled “Overt letter to Etisalat”, “concluded it by stating thus: “Others who cannot buy external antennas have resorted to climbing all sorts of trees ranging from mango, orange, avocado, cashew, oil bean, palm trees among others in search of network. It is therefore imperative for Etisalat and other telephony operators to cover such communities by building their base stations or masts there in order to reduce the rate at which subscribers climb trees. In the case of the above community (Umuodagu Ntu), land where the base station or mast will be sited is available, as the Eze and his cabinet, as well as the elders and youths are ever ready to work with any telecommunication company that indicates interest”.

This piece is an appeal to the four major mobile telephony networks – MTN, AIRTEL, GLO and Etisalat to come to the aid of the above community and village so that they can stay in their various homes to make and receive calls. No doubt, if the mast is hoist or built, the community will remain grateful to any of the network operators that honoured their appeal.

Nwaorgu Faustinus Chilee, writes from Igboeche, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Mobile: +2348035601312. Email:

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Ericsson Proves Mobile Communications Can Transform Africa

Ericsson proves mobile communications can transform Africa

Stockholm, Sweden · March 2, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — (NASDAQ:ERIC) Ericsson, the world's leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services, and pan-African operator Zain have built a wind- and solar-powered site in remote northeast Kenya. Now with access to reliable and affordable mobile communication, villagers in Dertu can make calls, access health services and education and improve their economic future.

Elaine Weidman, Vice President, Sustainability at Ericsson, says: "Sites like this one have great potential for solving the African power-grid challenge of bringing mobile communication to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid so they can break the poverty cycle."

With mobile voice and data communication, Dertu's nomadic pastoral community of more than 5000 people can now build on the economic and social gains it has made since a mobile network was installed in the village. Rather than making the 100km journey by dirt road to the larger city of Garissa, many people from nearby communities go to Dertu to make calls, access improved health services and take advantage of new businesses – making the village an economic hub for the region.

More than 3000 phone minutes are logged daily, with new markets springing up for SIM cards, second-hand phones, charging and accessories. Transport costs have also gone down thanks to mobile ordering and invoicing.

Residents use mobiles to find out about good pastures, which are often hard to come by in this arid region. Socially, families can be closer to distant relatives, and health care and remote education are now within reach. In case of an emergency water shortage, a mobile phone call brings help more quickly.

Weidman says: "The Dertu experience demonstrates that even people in the most remote parts of the world can be connected with a positive business case. The key to ongoing success will be combining innovative solutions, public-private partnerships and new business models."

Villages like Dertu, as part of the UN's Millennium Villages project, are exporting their successful interventions to neighboring villages, and the results are transforming Africa.

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 250 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson Corporate Public & Media Relations
Phone: +46 10 719 69 92

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