Game Of Thrones: GSM Telecommunications in Nigeria, from 2001 to 2013

Once upon a time, we were a peaceful nation. Nitel ruled and we followed. No questions asked. It was a case of “what you see is what you get” and if you objected, you were sentenced to a life of no communication. And that was the order of the day. Then in the year 2001, there was an uproar. Some citizens decided the current monarch wasn’t doing a good job. Econet was a product of the uprising. A couple of years after its launch of commercial GSM services in 2001, Nigeria has definitely gone on to become one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world.

This definitely opened up business opportunities for different Dukes, Duchesses, Counts and Countesses. But who can be bothered about Africa. They were all focused on bigger and better markets. However there was one of these Counts that was ready to be master and ruler among the blind. He had one eye, but a great nose to sniff out good business opportunities. He goes by the name Nokia.

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Like Christopher Columbus, he plunged into the unknown and was hoping for a happy ending and for a while he enjoyed that wise decision. Nokia was the first to catch a whiff of the massive opportunities that were prevalent in the Nigerian market. Not only did he conquer the throne, but he conquered the heart of Nigerians.

Everywhere you looked; there was always something about connecting people. Nokia played to the strengths of the behavior and culture of the Nigerian society. Heck they could even tell we were a class conscious society and phones were made to that effect. Nokia had the usual “pure water” phones and the luxury ones. Like it or not, whether we had the capabilities to afford it or not, we all wanted the expensive phones. Damn, Nokia raked in a lot of cash. I think it was based on these factors: cameras, polyphonic ringtones and colored screens, which were relatively new features on mobile phones, but after that excitement ran out, the people wanted more and he wasn’t forthcoming.

At the time, Blackberry was looking at the game board, trying to decide what part to strike and overthrow the leader. The people were getting restless and Nokia had obviously run out of shoving mirrors in the people’s face to gain loyalty and trust. A lieutenant on the force found the secret – emails and BBM.

They launched the attack and were able to conquer a few provinces – the autocratic group and a bit of the learned sector – but that wasn’t enough for Blackberry. His goal was to have all the power. Then the Obama game changer was launched and because our black brother was in control, like sheep led to the slaughter, we jumped right into the fire and proclaimed Blackberry king. It was short lived though.

It could be because America blew us some hogwash statistics, claiming that blackberry was going to die and the favored Prince, iPhone was to assume power, or it could be that iPhone’s non-identical twin studied his weakness and decided to implement laws and offer solutions that will make up for his brother’s excesses. I guess the Nigerian community is the one that stuffed the ding dong reign that was brewing between these 2 rulers.

The extravagant lifestyle of the monarchs was getting too much for the Nigerian people. They constantly felt the weight of these monarchs in the form of taxes (the cost of a good smartphone). Prince Samsung noticed this and hence started implementation, but along the way, he ran into a guy who looked exactly like him. Each day they would set out time to exchange ideas and rub minds, but Samsung wanted direct contact with the people, so he hatched a plan for them to exchange places for a while. A pretty stupid move, because TECNO is a sharp guy!

Right now, TECNO is making sure his little pranks remain permanent. To an extent, he has an added advantage.. d’uh he is from the streets. He spied Samsung’s notes, cut down on the already subsided tax rates, and dished it out to us. How cool is that. The word on the streets is that Tecno is it. Who is going to overthrow him?

The handle is @toperants and for now, I’m out!

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