Obasanjo’s internet, as it is mostly called became a trend in Nigeria in 1996. But was not the beginning. Nigeria had its first ISP in 1990. An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company that provides internet services to individuals and organisations. The first ISP was founded in 1991, and it was the Nigerian Centre for Communication Technologies (NCCT). Subsequently, ISPs like NITEL, Interswitch and Vee Network surfaced to dispense their services to already burgeoning market.
The main boom of internet usage in Nigeria was in the 2000’s. This technology was not relatively new at this time. Although, before then, the Nigerian Post and Telegraph was in charge of handling all forms of communications under the just independent Nigerian government. This commission regulated calls made between Lagos and London. The country had 116,000 fixed telephone lines across.
The main effort of NITEL (Nigeria Telecommunication Limited) was to structure and improve the coordination of telecommunication processes within and outside the country. However, the role of NITEL was not an easy assignment, and as a result, became operationally inefficient. The core drawbacks that affected NITEL’s efficiency were lack of maintenance, and inability to support cable network infrastructure across the country. This resulted in phone lines being congested, billing system was inefficient, and call completion rate for long distance calls was less than 50%. At this stage, it was clearer that NITEL lacked the capacity to cater for the increasing demand for their services.
INTRODUCTION OF MOBILE PHONES
According to some reports, ECONET Wireless made the first live call using GSM in the country on June 8, 2001. Immediately following it was MTN, which entered the market on May 16, 2001, but began operations in August of the same year. Initially, GSM services were available in Lagos, followed by Abuja and then Port Harcourt. In the year 1992, the first cellphone touched down in Nigeria, and this network was known as Mobile Telecommunication Service (MTS). Since it was the first of its kind, it garnered extreme monopoly and popularity overtime. The earliest cellphone had limited features, and above all, had unexciting games. You can mostly make calls, send text messages, and listen to monodical ringtones on these devices.
Since 2000, there was an upward rise in the number of people using the internet and mobile phones in Nigeria. This is due to the increasing availability of affordable mobile phones and internet access. The government has also invested in infrastructure that has improved internet connectivity, making it easier for people to access the internet.
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