What it’s like owning a BlackBerry in Nigeria

94 Comments

Nigeria mobile carriers

[The following is a letter from a BlackBerry Cool reader in Nigeria, writing about what it's like to own a BlackBerry in that part of the world.]

I couldn’t have written about BB in Nigeria without writing about the history of telecommunications in the country.

About 8 years ago, we only had about one hundred thousand wired lines for all of us. When I say “all of us”, I mean about one hundred and forty million people. In order to use a phone, we often had to wait in lines that could be as long as one thousand people.

Only one service provider, MTEL, which is a subsidiary of the national carrier NITEL, was offering mobile analogue (etac) in about four cities.

In 1999, licenses were given to three GSM operators: MTN Nigeria, V-Mobile and MTEL.The nation was about to witness a phenomenal change in telecommunications. A change in the way we communicate, a permanent change for the rest of our lives.

Around five years after, in 2003, another license was given this time to the second national carrier GLO Mobile.

Two years after that, GLO Mobile became the fastest growing telecommunication company not only here in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole. The company began to introduce new technologies into the industry.

First they came up with the GPRS, then MMS and the mobile internet just to name a few. Additionally, after all these possibilities (I say possibilities because some of the innovations they brought were thought to be impossible), the direction has now changed and others have to follow suit. At this point the industry has grown tremendously and we have twenty million subscribers and still counting.

Three years after, in 2006, BlackBerry was introduced to the Nigerian market. There were lot of issues in India when BlackBerry was introduced, as well as Russia. But here in Nigeria, a lack of access to information as well as a preoccupation with other aspects of life, meant BlackBerry landed here without making much of a scene.

All the carriers started with old BlackBerry devices such as the 7290 which was a shame because the 8xxx series was already out. The BlackBerry was a great mobile device to introduce because like one provider’s slogan, it was “the power to do much more.”

When BlackBerry was introduced into the market by Glo Mobile, it was only for the post paid customers. However, till this very day that has not really changed and they are yet to include prepaid customers.

Then came the V-Mobile that has now been changed to Zain. The company began offering the service to their postpaid customers only but that has recently changed. As I was putting this together, I received a text message from Zain saying that they have included prepaid customers into their BlackBerry service.

In 2006 however,  MTN,  my network, began to offer BlackBErry to its customers this time to both prepaid and postpaid customers at $34 a month. Here in Nigeria, not many people can afford a BlackBerry. And in situations where people just want to talk, most of the people here just forget their cell phones inside their hand bags until the phone rings and they remember they own a mobile phone.

The majority of mobile phone users here in Nigeria just want to talk. That is all they use their device for. I met a lady few days ago when I was trying to gather information concerning this write up inside one of the carrier’s offices. She uses a BlackBerry but she has never used the phone for anything other than making calls.

Unlike the advanced countries where the carriers take charge of providing both the cell phones and services to the customers, here the customers get the phone elsewhere and buy the SIM from the carrier. All the cell phones coming into the country are already unlocked.

You hardly see people with BlackBerry and when you are seen with one, you often get: “WOW! He uses BlackBerry, he must be big or something.” That is what it feels like having a BlackBerry in Nigeria. The other day, a guy walked up to me and said, “this guy uses BlackBerry, I saw this stuff on a billboard, it’s a powerful machine!”

I remember once a rumor that BlackBerry can scan for pregnancy when placed on the stomach of a pregnant woman. I think it calls for an investigation. For now, there are still so many issues with having one and using it. One couldn’t have purchased a phone like this without it fully functional. Most of the technologies we use here are obsolete.

Fortunately, all the carriers are now bringing in the latest BlackBerry models.

Most of the cities here are still on GPRS. EDGE and 3G are still trying to spring up. The majority of the messengers will not work because the network does not have the service books for the applications. Only the BlackBerry messenger works. Since Zain has joined the queue I will have to check it out if they have better service than my network.

But till then, I remain my loyal self.

God bless,

-Temitope O.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

[ED NOTE: Can you believe he wrote all this on his BlackBerry? Amazing.]

  • http://lechampiondumonde.com/ Paul

    This was a (blackberry)cool backgrounder piece. Thanks a lot for sharing! Amazing that you typed this all on your BB too! I knew that cell technologies were blowing up in Africa but had no idea to what extent. If you could, I think people on this site would be interested in hearing more.

    Now that you have a Blackberry, do you think you could ever go back to a standard cell phone? What functions or apps do you use on the phone that are unique to BB? Sure, access to 3G is limited so only BB messenger works but with not many other people having Blackberries, is BB messenger even useful?

    When I was in Kenya last summer, I became fascinated by the cell technology there and how people used it. $1.60 sim cards (they cost $40 in Canada). Twin-sim phones? I was using an unlocked SE W810i there and to Kenyans, even though I hadn’t showered in two weeks and my shoes were filled with holes, my phone was a sign that I must be a big shot. “Very executive,” they would say.

    Are Nigerians talking about the iPhone yet?

  • http://lechampiondumonde.com Paul

    This was a (blackberry)cool backgrounder piece. Thanks a lot for sharing! Amazing that you typed this all on your BB too! I knew that cell technologies were blowing up in Africa but had no idea to what extent. If you could, I think people on this site would be interested in hearing more.

    Now that you have a Blackberry, do you think you could ever go back to a standard cell phone? What functions or apps do you use on the phone that are unique to BB? Sure, access to 3G is limited so only BB messenger works but with not many other people having Blackberries, is BB messenger even useful?

    When I was in Kenya last summer, I became fascinated by the cell technology there and how people used it. $1.60 sim cards (they cost $40 in Canada). Twin-sim phones? I was using an unlocked SE W810i there and to Kenyans, even though I hadn’t showered in two weeks and my shoes were filled with holes, my phone was a sign that I must be a big shot. “Very executive,” they would say.

    Are Nigerians talking about the iPhone yet?

  • Ben

    I have been to a lot of different places in the world thanks to my time in the Army and it also amazed me how we take things like mobile devices for granted. I mean really, here in this story is a guy telling how much technology has changed in his country but for most of us, owning a BlackBerry means nothing more then your work supplied it or you wanted a device that allows to to stay in touch with your friends and family easier. I see teenagers carrying around Pearls, Curves, Storms, Bolds and so forth like it is nothing (keep in mind, my first cell phone was a bag phone :D ). I think it is really neat to see how things have changed in just one country.

  • Ben

    I have been to a lot of different places in the world thanks to my time in the Army and it also amazed me how we take things like mobile devices for granted. I mean really, here in this story is a guy telling how much technology has changed in his country but for most of us, owning a BlackBerry means nothing more then your work supplied it or you wanted a device that allows to to stay in touch with your friends and family easier. I see teenagers carrying around Pearls, Curves, Storms, Bolds and so forth like it is nothing (keep in mind, my first cell phone was a bag phone :D ). I think it is really neat to see how things have changed in just one country.

  • Nick

    Main thing that blew me away was that he typed it all on his BB. Its weird reading something like this, I use my BB and take it for granted that I can enjoy a piece of technology so freely. Times are changing however, and as these markets emerge, the more competitive it gets for everyone. A really interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

  • Nick

    Main thing that blew me away was that he typed it all on his BB. Its weird reading something like this, I use my BB and take it for granted that I can enjoy a piece of technology so freely. Times are changing however, and as these markets emerge, the more competitive it gets for everyone. A really interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.arizonacharliesboulder.org/ Arizona Charlies Boulder

    we have almost the same here in Central America. but still no data plan or 3g.

  • http://www.arizonacharliesboulder.org/ Arizona Charlies Boulder

    we have almost the same here in Central America. but still no data plan or 3g.

  • http://www.arizonacharliesboulder.org Arizona Charlies Boulder

    we have almost the same here in Central America. but still no data plan or 3g.

  • http://beyondthebleedingedge.blogspot.com/ Andrew

    Fantastic post - I would encourage a follow up, on how camera’s/video on handhelds impacts the way they use their devices and social interactions. As this is probably the first time pictures can be taken for a majority of the population.

  • http://beyondthebleedingedge.blogspot.com Andrew

    Fantastic post - I would encourage a follow up, on how camera’s/video on handhelds impacts the way they use their devices and social interactions. As this is probably the first time pictures can be taken for a majority of the population.

  • ed

    I just got a PIN message asking for my bank account. It sounds like I can make a lot of money if I help out this Doctor Abdullah fellow.

  • ed

    I just got a PIN message asking for my bank account. It sounds like I can make a lot of money if I help out this Doctor Abdullah fellow.

  • ThaWiz

    Wow! What part of Nigeria are you from? Wait in lines up to a thousand long. ALL my family there have and have had their own wired lines for as long as I can remember. I went home to Lagos in the summer of ’07 and was amazed how many people had cell phones and how nice they all were. There were some very cool designs I had never seen before. But still Blackberrys were looked upon with reverence. I had my 8700g when I was there and all my family thought I was a big shot over here.

    @ Andrew: no it wont be the first time the majority of the population could take pictures. Nigeria is nowhere near that destitute.

    @ ed: don’t you think that’s a little too low of a blow. Not very funny

  • ThaWiz

    Wow! What part of Nigeria are you from? Wait in lines up to a thousand long. ALL my family there have and have had their own wired lines for as long as I can remember. I went home to Lagos in the summer of ’07 and was amazed how many people had cell phones and how nice they all were. There were some very cool designs I had never seen before. But still Blackberrys were looked upon with reverence. I had my 8700g when I was there and all my family thought I was a big shot over here.

    @ Andrew: no it wont be the first time the majority of the population could take pictures. Nigeria is nowhere near that destitute.

    @ ed: don’t you think that’s a little too low of a blow. Not very funny

  • Um No

    So running 419 scams should be easier now, right?

  • Um No

    So running 419 scams should be easier now, right?

  • artie

    Great letter, thank you.

  • artie

    Great letter, thank you.

  • artie

    Great letter, thank you.

  • http://9jasite.com/ African Boy

    I am a Nigerian, I have had experiences using blackberry and dont intend using one primarily. I use a Nokia E61i and I get the same response as one who uses a blackberry. I am not moved to using a blackberry or using a data plan on my e61i because our data plans are still outrageously expensive.

    A queue of a 1000 people to make a call. Where? The highest I have ever seen was 2 people and that was because we preferred to make calls at that location (the operator was a pretty lady).

  • http://9jasite.com African Boy

    I am a Nigerian, I have had experiences using blackberry and dont intend using one primarily. I use a Nokia E61i and I get the same response as one who uses a blackberry. I am not moved to using a blackberry or using a data plan on my e61i because our data plans are still outrageously expensive.

    A queue of a 1000 people to make a call. Where? The highest I have ever seen was 2 people and that was because we preferred to make calls at that location (the operator was a pretty lady).

  • asktemi

    African Boy,

    It takes about $100 US (#15,000)Nigeria money a month to have a data plan on your Nokia E61i while it takes about $34 (#5,000). My brother has Nokia E71 and what is E71 without a data plan? We are talking about productivity here. Instead of me buying a phone that expensive I rather just go for a cheap phone just to make calls.

    uh! pretty lady you say; very few ppl were able to own a phone 9 years ago. Thank God I was one of the prileged few.

    Nitel was the only carrier we have in a country of about 140,000,000 and 100,000 lines what do you get check the stat.

  • asktemi

    African Boy,

    It takes about $100 US (#15,000)Nigeria money a month to have a data plan on your Nokia E61i while it takes about $34 (#5,000). My brother has Nokia E71 and what is E71 without a data plan? We are talking about productivity here. Instead of me buying a phone that expensive I rather just go for a cheap phone just to make calls.

    uh! pretty lady you say; very few ppl were able to own a phone 9 years ago. Thank God I was one of the prileged few.

    Nitel was the only carrier we have in a country of about 140,000,000 and 100,000 lines what do you get check the stat.

  • http://9jasite.com/ African Boy

    @asktemi , a basic data plan. Yes. What is the data through-put allowed per month?

  • http://9jasite.com African Boy

    @asktemi , a basic data plan. Yes. What is the data through-put allowed per month?

  • dbl

    I read this post with a huge smile on my face, its good to know technology is being appreciated in Nigeria. I agree with the writer that about 8 yrs ago, it was a completely different story.

    @Ed et @Um No
    As for the scams and whatnot, its simple -dont be greedy! you have the right to ignore such messages just the same way you ignore spam emails that ask if you want to enlarge any body part.

  • dbl

    I read this post with a huge smile on my face, its good to know technology is being appreciated in Nigeria. I agree with the writer that about 8 yrs ago, it was a completely different story.

    @Ed et @Um No
    As for the scams and whatnot, its simple -dont be greedy! you have the right to ignore such messages just the same way you ignore spam emails that ask if you want to enlarge any body part.

  • dbl

    I read this post with a huge smile on my face, its good to know technology is being appreciated in Nigeria. I agree with the writer that about 8 yrs ago, it was a completely different story.

    @Ed et @Um No
    As for the scams and whatnot, its simple -dont be greedy! you have the right to ignore such messages just the same way you ignore spam emails that ask if you want to enlarge any body part.

  • Dan

    what fascinating incites into present day Nigerian culture! I really appreciate someone taking the time to post this. It would be great to see a few from around the globe. Makes me remember how blessed we are in our daily lives and I think it does us good to be reminded of that. And yes, I too remember bag phones (and no cell phones) and very expensive minutes here in the U.S. Who knows… BBs and the free flows of information could well bring about great changes in Africa. Thanks, God Bless you also.

  • Dan

    what fascinating incites into present day Nigerian culture! I really appreciate someone taking the time to post this. It would be great to see a few from around the globe. Makes me remember how blessed we are in our daily lives and I think it does us good to be reminded of that. And yes, I too remember bag phones (and no cell phones) and very expensive minutes here in the U.S. Who knows… BBs and the free flows of information could well bring about great changes in Africa. Thanks, God Bless you also.

  • Dan

    what fascinating incites into present day Nigerian culture! I really appreciate someone taking the time to post this. It would be great to see a few from around the globe. Makes me remember how blessed we are in our daily lives and I think it does us good to be reminded of that. And yes, I too remember bag phones (and no cell phones) and very expensive minutes here in the U.S. Who knows… BBs and the free flows of information could well bring about great changes in Africa. Thanks, God Bless you also.

  • ozoro

    I have used a Nokia E61 in the UK & Nigeria for voice & data (2007/8). I really enjoyed the blackberry function on E61 both in Nigeria & UK. Many providers in both the UK & Nigeria argued with me that the E61 could NOT use the Blackberry function.

    My recent upgrade was to a blackberry 8310, fantastic phone, nuch better than the Nokia, am going to be hard pushed to use anything other than a blackberry in future.

    In Nigeria once I change my sim to my Nigerian number, all my settings for emails remain the same, I have at least 5 seperate emails (BIS not enterprise) and all my emails come straight through. When I have roamed using my UK mobile account it is horrendously expensive - over £300 for a two week period!

    My big questin/ challenge to BB users and suppliers is small business men like have tried to legitmately buy unlocked BB handsets and export to Africa (as the providers don’t provide subsidised handsets of any model), but we meet such resistance from suppliers in Europe & the UK. Can anyone explain this why this is?

    I know there is the usual suspicsion of fraud, etc, but suppliers should be able to tell geniue buyers and I have asked for goods to be shipped to my UK address.
    In these days of credit crunch I would have thought my money is as good as anybodyelse’s…………………….

    any takers……………………

  • http://Blackberrycool ozoro

    I have used a Nokia E61 in the UK & Nigeria for voice & data (2007/8). I really enjoyed the blackberry function on E61 both in Nigeria & UK. Many providers in both the UK & Nigeria argued with me that the E61 could NOT use the Blackberry function.

    My recent upgrade was to a blackberry 8310, fantastic phone, nuch better than the Nokia, am going to be hard pushed to use anything other than a blackberry in future.

    In Nigeria once I change my sim to my Nigerian number, all my settings for emails remain the same, I have at least 5 seperate emails (BIS not enterprise) and all my emails come straight through. When I have roamed using my UK mobile account it is horrendously expensive - over £300 for a two week period!

    My big questin/ challenge to BB users and suppliers is small business men like have tried to legitmately buy unlocked BB handsets and export to Africa (as the providers don’t provide subsidised handsets of any model), but we meet such resistance from suppliers in Europe & the UK. Can anyone explain this why this is?

    I know there is the usual suspicsion of fraud, etc, but suppliers should be able to tell geniue buyers and I have asked for goods to be shipped to my UK address.
    In these days of credit crunch I would have thought my money is as good as anybodyelse’s…………………….

    any takers……………………

  • TT

    I would like to purchase an unlocked Blackberry Bold for use in Nigeria and am currently located in NYC in the US. Specifically, Port Harcourt. I have a few questions:

    1. What is a good source for an unlocked Blackbery?
    2. Can I get a regular Blackberry and unlock it myself or have it unlocked in Nigeria?
    3. Does anyone have one of these in PH? How does it work for you?
    3. How much are sim cards and who do you suggest? How do I get my data plan to work so that I can receive my messages and connect the Blackberry servers for email retrieval and BBMessenger?
    4. Can I purchase prepaid phone service (local and international) and a dataplan and how much will that cost?

    Any other suggestions would be welcome. I will be traveling to PH indefinitely and need access to meet work obligations.

    Thank you,
    TT

  • TT

    I would like to purchase an unlocked Blackberry Bold for use in Nigeria and am currently located in NYC in the US. Specifically, Port Harcourt. I have a few questions:

    1. What is a good source for an unlocked Blackbery?
    2. Can I get a regular Blackberry and unlock it myself or have it unlocked in Nigeria?
    3. Does anyone have one of these in PH? How does it work for you?
    3. How much are sim cards and who do you suggest? How do I get my data plan to work so that I can receive my messages and connect the Blackberry servers for email retrieval and BBMessenger?
    4. Can I purchase prepaid phone service (local and international) and a dataplan and how much will that cost?

    Any other suggestions would be welcome. I will be traveling to PH indefinitely and need access to meet work obligations.

    Thank you,
    TT

  • ozoro

    Hello TT

    I supply BB’s to retailers and resellers (although I can supply to end users if need be)

    1.Blackberry Bold will cost no less than N90,000 unlocked.
    2. Numerous places in Lagos such as Mega Plaza in Victoria Island will supply, am not familiar enough with PH to suggest an outlet.
    3. MTN, Glo & Zain will sell you a sim card for less than N500, you can even use pay as go for some networks with Data/BB function.
    4. Costs about N5000 per month for BB function.
    5. My settings for email have remained the same when I swap sim card in Nigeria using MTN and 02 (UK based).
    6. However the mobile main shops will set you for BB if you want to use new Nigerian settings.
    7. Anywhere there’s a GSM signal in Nigeria I can send/recieve emails.

    trust this helps, contact me if need be.

    thanx………………..

  • http://Blackberrycool ozoro

    Hello TT

    I supply BB’s to retailers and resellers (although I can supply to end users if need be)

    1.Blackberry Bold will cost no less than N90,000 unlocked.
    2. Numerous places in Lagos such as Mega Plaza in Victoria Island will supply, am not familiar enough with PH to suggest an outlet.
    3. MTN, Glo & Zain will sell you a sim card for less than N500, you can even use pay as go for some networks with Data/BB function.
    4. Costs about N5000 per month for BB function.
    5. My settings for email have remained the same when I swap sim card in Nigeria using MTN and 02 (UK based).
    6. However the mobile main shops will set you for BB if you want to use new Nigerian settings.
    7. Anywhere there’s a GSM signal in Nigeria I can send/recieve emails.

    trust this helps, contact me if need be.

    thanx………………..

  • asktemi

    Ozoro,

    Ozoro should get in touch with me on asktemi@yahoo.com or BB pin:25165797

  • asktemi

    Ozoro,

    Ozoro should get in touch with me on asktemi@yahoo.com or BB pin:25165797

  • Oluseyi

    For those doubting the “lines 1,000 people long” - particularly for the Nigerians doubting it - think outside of Lagos, Ibadan and other very urban areas. Think peri-urban outskirts or even rural areas. Consider that of the 100,000 land lines that were available at the time, probably something like 25% were in use in Lagos - the smallest of the states by land mass! (But also the most densely populated, and second in overall population, at the time, to Kaduna.)

    In 2006 I went to Nigeria and took my Blackberry 7100t with me, unlocked (T-Mobile will give you an unlock code for your device every 11 months; I’ve since upgraded through an 8300 from work to my new, personal 8900 Curve), and enjoyed excellent call services by simply slipping in cheap SIM cards and purchasing prepaid minutes. MMS was just being introduced at the time (by V-Mobile), so I didn’t get a chance to check it out. I’m hoping to be back in Nigeria later this year, so it’d be interesting to see how cellular services have advanced since my last visit.

    As for the length of the piece, I once went through a period when my BlackBerry was my only “computer,” and I learned to compose truly lengthy missives on it. Worse, it was a SureType keyboard, so I’d have to correct spellings and involve the scrollwheel… That experience convinced me to always go QWERTY! :)

  • Oluseyi

    For those doubting the “lines 1,000 people long” - particularly for the Nigerians doubting it - think outside of Lagos, Ibadan and other very urban areas. Think peri-urban outskirts or even rural areas. Consider that of the 100,000 land lines that were available at the time, probably something like 25% were in use in Lagos - the smallest of the states by land mass! (But also the most densely populated, and second in overall population, at the time, to Kaduna.)

    In 2006 I went to Nigeria and took my Blackberry 7100t with me, unlocked (T-Mobile will give you an unlock code for your device every 11 months; I’ve since upgraded through an 8300 from work to my new, personal 8900 Curve), and enjoyed excellent call services by simply slipping in cheap SIM cards and purchasing prepaid minutes. MMS was just being introduced at the time (by V-Mobile), so I didn’t get a chance to check it out. I’m hoping to be back in Nigeria later this year, so it’d be interesting to see how cellular services have advanced since my last visit.

    As for the length of the piece, I once went through a period when my BlackBerry was my only “computer,” and I learned to compose truly lengthy missives on it. Worse, it was a SureType keyboard, so I’d have to correct spellings and involve the scrollwheel… That experience convinced me to always go QWERTY! :)

  • taipan lee

    Hey guys good work.
    I only want to add a few details.
    MTN and Glo now offers BB for prepaid customers.
    You can get all the features and applications that are available in advanced countries (yahoo messenger, msn, googletalk, minuet browser, opera mini, cnn ….et al) working. All you need is the right service book and configurations.

    I can supply the missing links for free ,as i have all these features running on my own BB. Get in touch :amos007ng@yahoo.com

  • taipan lee

    Hey guys good work.
    I only want to add a few details.
    MTN and Glo now offers BB for prepaid customers.
    You can get all the features and applications that are available in advanced countries (yahoo messenger, msn, googletalk, minuet browser, opera mini, cnn ….et al) working. All you need is the right service book and configurations.

    I can supply the missing links for free ,as i have all these features running on my own BB. Get in touch :amos007ng@yahoo.com

  • http://www.zimplifier.com/ Terra

    SO SO SO cool that you are blogging about this. I have read two posts, are their more?

  • http://www.zimplifier.com/ Terra

    SO SO SO cool that you are blogging about this. I have read two posts, are their more?

  • http://www.zimplifier.com/ Terra

    SO SO SO cool that you are blogging about this. I have read two posts, are their more?

  • http://www.zimplifier.com Terra

    SO SO SO cool that you are blogging about this. I have read two posts, are their more?

  • http://www.pidginguide.com/ Tochie

    Hello there,

    I would appreciate a little advice from you. I want to get a blackberry and i really like the bb storm, 2nd choice is curve 8900. I’m always very choosy when it comes to electronics and for days, i’ve been looking at reviews from bb storm users. Most of them have been negative. But i want to hear from a bb storm user here in nigeria, what the phone is like.

    2. I’d also like to know where I can get a blackberry at a decent price, then get the MTN bis..mtn offers the curve 8900 @100k and bold 9000g @110k…I think i can get it cheaper from a seller then subscribe.

    What do you think??

    Thanks

  • http://www.pidginguide.com Tochie

    Hello there,

    I would appreciate a little advice from you. I want to get a blackberry and i really like the bb storm, 2nd choice is curve 8900. I’m always very choosy when it comes to electronics and for days, i’ve been looking at reviews from bb storm users. Most of them have been negative. But i want to hear from a bb storm user here in nigeria, what the phone is like.

    2. I’d also like to know where I can get a blackberry at a decent price, then get the MTN bis..mtn offers the curve 8900 @100k and bold 9000g @110k…I think i can get it cheaper from a seller then subscribe.

    What do you think??

    Thanks

  • ozoro

    Tochie, you’ve answered most of your questions. You can get BB Bold & BB Curve (make sure to ask for 8900 and/or Javelin or you’ll be presented with the older version Curve), try Computer Village, Otigba, Ikeja.

    Bold will cost no more than N90k, Curve N85K. Look carefully, inspect your handset as I understand there are Chinese models available that look suspicioulsy like a BB but are much cheaper.

    9500 Storm has lost much of it’s intial lustre, it used to retail for as much N165k but now you should pay less than N80k.

    Many people including me, have a problem with touch phones, real emailers, texters, etc will probably want a real QWERTY keyboard - hence we prefer BB Bold or Curve as opposed to the ‘iphone or ‘storm’.

    However the ‘iphone’ is better if most of what you do is browsing the net and/or media playback or downloads.

    But for real business use, especially email nothing beats the BB and for inputing information, such as cut & paste, etc then a BB everytime. Although ‘iphone’ purports to have an ‘app’ for cut & paste and other things now.

    Your specfic question BB Storm, probably not………..

    BB Curve, smaller, better camera, no 3G but wifi for the few wifi areas in Nigeria.
    BB Bold, perhaps slightly easier to use keyboard, 3G (but where is there 3G in Nigeria), BB Bold also has ‘wifi’ so you’re covered on both fronts.
    BB Storm, virtual keyboard, takes getting used to, 3G no ‘wifi’ see above comments
    All three fones you download apps from BB app store although might be a bit clumsy as app store only supports USA & UK and may require paypal account. Apps can be downloaded via a PC and uploaded to your device.

    Hope I’ve been of some help.

    you can reach me on ozoro99@gmail.com.

    By the way I supply BB fones.

  • ozoro

    Tochie, you’ve answered most of your questions. You can get BB Bold & BB Curve (make sure to ask for 8900 and/or Javelin or you’ll be presented with the older version Curve), try Computer Village, Otigba, Ikeja.

    Bold will cost no more than N90k, Curve N85K. Look carefully, inspect your handset as I understand there are Chinese models available that look suspicioulsy like a BB but are much cheaper.

    9500 Storm has lost much of it’s intial lustre, it used to retail for as much N165k but now you should pay less than N80k.

    Many people including me, have a problem with touch phones, real emailers, texters, etc will probably want a real QWERTY keyboard - hence we prefer BB Bold or Curve as opposed to the ‘iphone or ‘storm’.

    However the ‘iphone’ is better if most of what you do is browsing the net and/or media playback or downloads.

    But for real business use, especially email nothing beats the BB and for inputing information, such as cut & paste, etc then a BB everytime. Although ‘iphone’ purports to have an ‘app’ for cut & paste and other things now.

    Your specfic question BB Storm, probably not………..

    BB Curve, smaller, better camera, no 3G but wifi for the few wifi areas in Nigeria.
    BB Bold, perhaps slightly easier to use keyboard, 3G (but where is there 3G in Nigeria), BB Bold also has ‘wifi’ so you’re covered on both fronts.
    BB Storm, virtual keyboard, takes getting used to, 3G no ‘wifi’ see above comments
    All three fones you download apps from BB app store although might be a bit clumsy as app store only supports USA & UK and may require paypal account. Apps can be downloaded via a PC and uploaded to your device.

    Hope I’ve been of some help.

    you can reach me on ozoro99@gmail.com.

    By the way I supply BB fones.

  • julia

    Ozoro the bb chinese version, does it function as a bb?? As in those it have the same qualities? Another question directed at both you and taipan lee is, how do you get the yahoo messenger working on a bb? I haven’t been able to use mine since I got it. It keeps saying ‘service not enabled on this handheld’.

  • julia

    Ozoro the bb chinese version, does it function as a bb?? As in those it have the same qualities? Another question directed at both you and taipan lee is, how do you get the yahoo messenger working on a bb? I haven’t been able to use mine since I got it. It keeps saying ‘service not enabled on this handheld’.

  • julia

    Ozoro the bb chinese version, does it function as a bb?? As in those it have the same qualities? Another question directed at both you and taipan lee is, how do you get the yahoo messenger working on a bb? I haven’t been able to use mine since I got it. It keeps saying ‘service not enabled on this handheld’.

  • julia

    Ozoro the bb chinese version, does it function as a bb?? As in those it have the same qualities? Another question directed at both you and taipan lee is, how do you get the yahoo messenger working on a bb? I haven’t been able to use mine since I got it. It keeps saying ‘service not enabled on this handheld’.

  • julia

    ??

  • julia

    ??

  • asktemi

    Tochie, I think Ozoro has answeered you question rightly, he got it all right. BB is the answer if you mail, text and do document a lot. Apart from that, Nokia E71 for intance is also a nice phone, but the keys are just too small to do real typing and in the night light key pad lighting is just too poor.

    BB has the best screen, I mean in the sun I think is one of the phone that you don’t have to cover the screen with your hand in the sun.

    I just love this phone. it is one of the best phone you can play around with.

    Something big about this phone is coming up soon.

    BB is all about productivity.

  • asktemi

    Tochie, I think Ozoro has answeered you question rightly, he got it all right. BB is the answer if you mail, text and do document a lot. Apart from that, Nokia E71 for intance is also a nice phone, but the keys are just too small to do real typing and in the night light key pad lighting is just too poor.

    BB has the best screen, I mean in the sun I think is one of the phone that you don’t have to cover the screen with your hand in the sun.

    I just love this phone. it is one of the best phone you can play around with.

    Something big about this phone is coming up soon.

    BB is all about productivity.

  • Pressthoms

    Hellow to you all, i have t mobile sidekick lx to unlock in nigeria here .and i have take it to cupter vilage to unlock it but the unlockcode did not found.pls help .pressthoms@yahoo.com

  • http://Pressthoms@yahoo.com Pressthoms

    Hellow to you all, i have t mobile sidekick lx to unlock in nigeria here .and i have take it to cupter vilage to unlock it but the unlockcode did not found.pls help .pressthoms@yahoo.com

  • Pressthoms

    And i want know if sidekick lx can work like bb?in nigeria

  • http://Pressthoms@yahoo.com Pressthoms

    And i want know if sidekick lx can work like bb?in nigeria

  • http://henroblog.blogspot.com/ Henry O

    Well, that is very interesting.
    Tope do you have any relevant data as per the total no of blackberry users in Nigeria for 2008 and Q3 2009?

  • http://henroblog.blogspot.com Henry O

    Well, that is very interesting.
    Tope do you have any relevant data as per the total no of blackberry users in Nigeria for 2008 and Q3 2009?

  • Asktemi

    @Henry O, I want to say here loud and clear that things have changed since the last time I wrote about BB here in Nigeria. I was about writing another article to that effect but time and other issues would not permit me to do so.

    However, as I said there has being a serious in the way BB is used in Nigeria.
    To answer your question first. When I was preparing to write that article I did not just want to put down information that I do not know and as such I have to visit various network providers if they could furnish me with such information such as the numbers of BB users on their networks, I was turn down. With that I could not get the numbers of BB users here in Nigeria.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Now Talking about the change. In the past weeks Etisalat, has joined the class of MTN GLO and ZAIN to provide BB in Nigeria.

    I said about the slow internet connection that time and now I am proud to announce that 3.5G or HSDPA is here that has change things.

    Finally, as GLO is about completing their fiber optic cable from the USA down to Nigeria, they have promised about 3.5mb/s soon, this is a good news.

    Right now in the community where I live, we are talking 800kb/s this is a good news to us.

    Soon BB is going to be government tool to monitor project and budget performance here. We want to see if we could take BB to the next level.

    Till then keep posting.

  • Asktemi

    @Henry O, I want to say here loud and clear that things have changed since the last time I wrote about BB here in Nigeria. I was about writing another article to that effect but time and other issues would not permit me to do so.

    However, as I said there has being a serious in the way BB is used in Nigeria.
    To answer your question first. When I was preparing to write that article I did not just want to put down information that I do not know and as such I have to visit various network providers if they could furnish me with such information such as the numbers of BB users on their networks, I was turn down. With that I could not get the numbers of BB users here in Nigeria.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Now Talking about the change. In the past weeks Etisalat, has joined the class of MTN GLO and ZAIN to provide BB in Nigeria.

    I said about the slow internet connection that time and now I am proud to announce that 3.5G or HSDPA is here that has change things.

    Finally, as GLO is about completing their fiber optic cable from the USA down to Nigeria, they have promised about 3.5mb/s soon, this is a good news.

    Right now in the community where I live, we are talking 800kb/s this is a good news to us.

    Soon BB is going to be government tool to monitor project and budget performance here. We want to see if we could take BB to the next level.

    Till then keep posting.

  • Gbolahan

    The piece written by Tope is accurate (from an historical perspective) but his/her idea of how people use the functions that come with a blackberry is completely erroneous.
    Let me start by saying RIM introducing the BB into Nigerian market without much fanfare was probably a strategy used to target the elite class of our soceity but the exponetial growth of these tools must really be making them scratch their heads. This is because BBs have an occultic following in this part of the world. It was pretty unimagnable a year or two ago that you could check your emails and get the latest news effortlessly on your mobile devices. It was either a problems with manufacturers or wireless carriers not having the marketing drive to push these services into the market.
    Enter BB with all the cool applications that come with it and I sit and wonder where Tope got his info about BB being used onlyto make calls. There are thousands of users in Nigeria who use their BBs for a lot of things.
    If you look at Nigerians on facebook and their check their threads you’ll find out most posts are sent over their BBs.
    Tweeting is gaining groud also and this is as a result of more power to more with mobile devices such as the BB.
    I am one of the early adopters of these technology in the country and I have applications on my device that I could never dream of in this part of world a year ago. Google maps that shows you your position real time and even allows you view the locations of your friends real time.
    The next phase of the BB following in Nigeria is developing applications and content for the naija people and when this is done the competitive landscape would shift as businesses strive to get a share of the mind of their consumers. Nigerians might not be there yet in terms of technology solutions deployment but we are abreast of what is happening around the world and looking for ways to stay a touching distance of being there.
    And YES we’re into iPhones and iPods…….

  • Gbolahan

    The piece written by Tope is accurate (from an historical perspective) but his/her idea of how people use the functions that come with a blackberry is completely erroneous.
    Let me start by saying RIM introducing the BB into Nigerian market without much fanfare was probably a strategy used to target the elite class of our soceity but the exponetial growth of these tools must really be making them scratch their heads. This is because BBs have an occultic following in this part of the world. It was pretty unimagnable a year or two ago that you could check your emails and get the latest news effortlessly on your mobile devices. It was either a problems with manufacturers or wireless carriers not having the marketing drive to push these services into the market.
    Enter BB with all the cool applications that come with it and I sit and wonder where Tope got his info about BB being used onlyto make calls. There are thousands of users in Nigeria who use their BBs for a lot of things.
    If you look at Nigerians on facebook and their check their threads you’ll find out most posts are sent over their BBs.
    Tweeting is gaining groud also and this is as a result of more power to more with mobile devices such as the BB.
    I am one of the early adopters of these technology in the country and I have applications on my device that I could never dream of in this part of world a year ago. Google maps that shows you your position real time and even allows you view the locations of your friends real time.
    The next phase of the BB following in Nigeria is developing applications and content for the naija people and when this is done the competitive landscape would shift as businesses strive to get a share of the mind of their consumers. Nigerians might not be there yet in terms of technology solutions deployment but we are abreast of what is happening around the world and looking for ways to stay a touching distance of being there.
    And YES we’re into iPhones and iPods…….

  • Olukunle alabetutu

    Blackberry is great. But i still cannot figure it our why i cannot open Word, excel, Pdf document on my Blackberry Bold. This i do with Sony Ericsson P990i without much ado.

  • Olukunle alabetutu

    Blackberry is great. But i still cannot figure it our why i cannot open Word, excel, Pdf document on my Blackberry Bold. This i do with Sony Ericsson P990i without much ado.

  • damilola ayeni

    ok blackberry is really a great device. but what i have noticed is that most people buy this device not for its functionality of web browsing but to join the league of friends who use them. some go as far as buying the phone and it becomes difficult to subscibe monthly. one thing the mobile phone network can do for us is to reduce the BIS fees to a minimum level. it is quite too extravagant. oluwadamilola Ayeni.mass communication student. Babcock University.

  • Almu34

    e first paragraph is a lie… a thousand in line to use a phone..?? what part of Nigeria were you living in??

  • Chelseadon78

    why is it that Nigerians are so crazy about this phone call blackberry?here in Britain where i live ten years old kid use it as a toy for game.naija wahala de

  • Sweetdoct247

    I’m very sure you know the story has changed now. BB service is better and owing one aint no big deal again. Infact it’s what we now refer to as “pure water”. And of course there are lots of phones now in Nigeria that can do something similare to bb instant messaging. I was suprised someone was amazed that much could be typed from a phone rotflmao, I’ve typed more than thrice of that on my N97. There’s really no big deal about using expensive smartphones in Naija again………well maybe if BB empathy finally makes it to the market. Even then if it get’s shipped to this place people will by it…….

  • Meetnengi

    i love black berry and i will make it my choice of phone.

  • Prospects4u

    Blackberry 7100. What does this mean in Nigeria? How much? You may get one free.
    prospects4u@aol.com

  • tripplechief

    Thank you o my bross/sis there is no longer any big deal owning a BB in Naija. I just bought Bold 2 9700 this monday but the wahala i have faced calling gloworld blackberry tech support services almost everyday has made me to be tired. Some of the basic functions are not just responding i am even regretting why i did not just go for any of these high end 3G Nokia phones jeje and battle with ovi to get most of my applications. However, BB prices have come down seriously i got my for 66k, some Nokia and samsung adroid os phones are even more expensive than that, so BB is no longer mearnt for the big boys/girls alone o!

  • Regido2000

    Please does anyone have an idea how many BB subscribers there are in Nigeria?

  • Lexzealous

    BlackBerry is cool on its own. But we are still far from enjoying the internet speed that makes it interesting in Nigeria. No mobile network can boast of 1MB/SEC in Nigeria. I hope that we get to the level when our 3G service can boast of about 4MB per sec. Then, BB will make serious sense.
    lexzealous