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Whither Mobile Internet, Etisalat?

Mobile internet service has come of age in Nigeria. A few years ago when I got my first GPRS-enabled smartphone, most Nigerians had never heard of GPRS. Years down the road, demand for mobile internet service is a force that no serious operator ignores. From CDMA-based providers to GSM networks, each operator is waking up to the potentials of the mass of young Nigerians hungry for available, affordable and easy-to-use internet access.

On the CDMA front, players like Starcomms, Visafone, multilinks and Reltel are pushing the boundaries of mobile internet service. Reltel, in particular is on the edge of the game by providing feature-laden smartphones at affordable prices for its subscribers, who are now able to use the internet directly on their devices, as well as on their PCs.

Mobile internet on the GSM front was heated up with MTN’s recent bold moves. GloMobile has responded. Zain, typically, is neither here nor there. If history is anything to go by, the GSM mobile internet market is currently (and may always be) between MTN and GloMobile.

However, the question some of us are asking at the moment is, “What is Etisalat up to?”

As a new entrant, Etisalat needs to demonstrate that it understands the trends in the market. One clear trend is that mobile internet sells. Can and will they rise up to the task? Without a 3G licence, does Etisalat have any chance of making a bold imprint in the mobile internet sector?

It is my opinion that they do. Setting up an EDGE-enabled network costs next to nothing compared to setting up a 3G-based network (licence fees inclusive). More interesting is the fact that modern EDGE networks deliver 3G speeds (384kbps theoretically). Etisalat can then later push for more advanced technology.

As such, with the will, Etisalat can stamp its foot on the mobile internet market right from launch. With innovative pricing and/or incentives, Etisalat should have a segment of that market cornered easilly. Incentives can include free bundled internet access for every airtime recharge monthly, or affordable flat monthly data tariffs.

But will Etisalat rise up to the occassion? We wait.

Culled from an article by Yomi Adegboye. Visit MobiNaija.com on your PC and mobile for free mobile downloads and more information on everything mobile in Nigeria

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9 answers

etisalat needs to start from the grass root

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mobile internet doesnt mean *&%$ when you can't even make a clear call, dude.

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Poster that was a real nice piece. And as for the Edge network, its a technology that has come to stay and since its cost effective, it will compete favourably with wat other network providers have on ground. Keep up your good write up and i believe the Etisalat team will surely get to see this. like a poster offer to make sure dey see it. Good luck to Etisalat, am waitin for you guys,

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hey guy its good to read such kind of post Nland. u know what i ve forwaded ur post there official mail box the most know our minds b4 establishing,

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Nice one there, i will on my part redirect it to the etisalat team. Good work.

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@poster. Thanks for the enlightenment. But ll b better if u forward to Etisalat mail id. To create a driving force in them. Nice speech thou.

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@All,

Thanks. You can be sure that the folks at Etisalat will see this article, especially over at MobiNaija.com, since they have been made aware of the site. We are unable to send to them this article, among others, as that would constitute spamming.

Regards!

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Nice speech, What realy can make Etisalat make a bold step is by going the Xtra mile in beating down cost of services, The speed of 3G is essencial or close to, Without a 3G licence,i don't think they will have a problem in that aspect due to the fact that,not so many fellas are into 3G service for now,

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