Categories
Advertorial Mobile

The Long Trek

Taking my car to work the last few days have been kind of hectic. While the roads have become freer, getting a good parking space have been a bit of a problem.

My office is located within the grounds of a very expansive and very high traffic shopping complex. If you are early to work – which you should be – you have the privilege of parking in the company reserved spots.

The trouble, however, starts at the end of the day’s business. You are tired and hungry, in a hurry to go home, only to find your car blocked off by some late Christmas shopper who is no where in sight.

This week i decided to commute to work. The stress involved in going by public transportation is nothing compared to the pent up fury I work myself into every night. Looking at the brighter side, the stress might even be a good opportunity to part with some of the pounds of weight i have acquired over the years which i would not mind letting go of.

It was also an opportunity to try out the new android workout app that i just discovered in the Google Play store, Noom Walk. Called a “Pedometer“, the app counts the number of steps you make on a daily basis and tries to rank you with your friends on Facebook and Google+ that uses the same app.

By the time i got home yesterday, i had taken well over 5000+ steps, though most of it was within CMS – Marina axis (Lagos Island) where i got lost while trying to locate a branch office.

What the app does and does well is to encourage you to outdo your previous records, with you keeping fit in the process. It also throws you into competition with your online friends.

What it does not do well is that the app tends to go to sleep when your phone goes to sleep, with you losing valuable step counts in the process. Also, the counts does not seem very accurate, with the inefficiencies never in favour of the user.

image

Categories
Entertainment

Still On GOtv

Going back to the DSTV retail shop in Lekki to pick up a GOtv branded cable TV package was not without apprehension and skepticism.

My first visit was not a fulfilling one, I really was not impressed with the picture quality I was shown . Also, no thanks to the limited coverage of GOtv’s signals in Lagos, you are thrown back to last century’s technology with the outdoor antenna you are forced to use to improve reception.

GOtv has two packages, the GOtv and the GOtv plus. The GOtv package hardware is being sold at an introductory price of N8000 and includes 3 months of free viewing for the 26 channels on offer while the GOtv plus hardware is N9500, also with 3 months free viewing for the 33 channels on offer. Subsequent monthly subscription fees is put at N1,000 and N1,500 respectively for the GOtv and GOtv plus packages.


Since my purchase is intended for my kids, I was forced to subscribe to the GOtv plus package because it contains the Disney Junior kiddies channel, their favourite. A summary of the channels available for each pacakage is listed below.

The installation package comes with the decoder, remote controller – the same as the one used for regular DSTV, AV cable and an indoor antennae. For N2,500 more, you are given a basic antennae which should come with a pole.I was swindled out of my pole.Please note that GOtv does not use any Smartcard.

The Installation is quite straightforward. On Lagos mainland, you may not have a need for an external antenna. However, if you live on Lagos Island, you definitely would be needing one.

I could not mount the outdoor antenna yet because of the missing pole. However, carefully placing the antenna on my balcony, i got about 26% signal strength and surprisingly, it was good for viewing with no artefacts.

Overall, i think it is a good buy especially considering the low monthly subscription. The picture quality is comparable to what is being offered on the regular DSTV cable regular packages. I would expect GOtv to speed up the expansion of its coverage area as the external antennaes constitute an eye sore.

[ws_table id=”1″]

Categories
Entertainment

GoTV – Putting The Cart Before The Horse?

GOtvBy now, many would have heard about GoTV, the latest cable TV company in Nigeria and yet another subsidiary of Multichoice, the parent company of DSTV.

Multichoice is a South African company with a near monopoly of the Cable TV industry on the African continent. It has almost 5 million subscribers across the continent with Nigeria being the single country with the highest subscription.

DSTV’s business model can be summed up in this phrase, “No Mercy To Competition”.  They have been noted for muscling out all their competitors, no thanks to the huge resources at their disposal. And unfortunately, the Nigerian Government have not come out in anyway to legislate against their unwholesome practices.

Even though DSTV services is quite popular in Nigeria, it is on record that they have not been able to capture a significant percentage of the Nigerian populace. Excluding hardware fees and installation costs ,monthly subscription fees range from between N4,900 (US$30) to about N10,000 (US$60). Fees that are definitely out of the reach of most the 170 million residents of Nigeria.

A company came up and sought to fill this huge gap in this untapped market. This translated to a partnership between some Chinese entrepreneurs and Nigeria’s network station NTA. A company called Startimes was formed and offered cheap set top boxes and monthly subscription fees of about N1,000 (US$6).

Now, DSTV has decided to muscle out Startimes with its equally cheap cable packages, albeit with superior programming content.

However, in a bid to do this, they rolled out without their structure fully in place to cater for the yearnings of Lagos residents. Perhaps because of the high population density on Lagos mainland, their solution was to site their GoTV transmitters there, leaving the Island with poor reception. This has probably resulted in slow sales.

On inquiry from a sales lady on when a transmitter would be sited on Lagos Island, she replied “month end”. Let’s see how that plays out.

Well, we all know the Chinese for being masters at price wars. Let’s also see if they would fall to the South Africans’ monopolistic business antics.

Source

Categories
Articles

Cobranet – Nigeria’s Fastest Internet Speed?

Name it, chances are that I have used it before. From the early days of internet access in Nigeria in the late 1990s when ISPs like hyperia and linkserve held sway with their dial up internet, to more recent times with ISPs like IPNX, Zoom, Onet and the GSM networks like MTN, Glo, Etisalat calling the shots. I have used them all!

Like many Nigerians, I keep hopping from one ISP to the other, searching for the elusive, or is it proverbial, “3G” or even “4G” speeds being hyped by these companies.

Recently, I was taking a walk through SPAR ‘Park and Shop’ Mall in Lekki, Lagos Island when I came across a stand showcasing yet another Nigerian ISP’s products, a company called COBRANET. Out of interest, more in the Sales Lady than anything else, I approached the stand. Though I had known Cobranet for years, I have never subscribed to their services. Probably because I did not expect their services to be any better than the norm. I got talking with the lady and was pleasantly surprised when the sales lady mentioned that apart from the fact that the company has signal coverage over most parts of Lagos Mainland, their signals also cover most parts of Lagos Island, stretching along the length of the Lekki-Epe expressway, reaching as far as a suburb called Awoyaya. A feat for a non-GSM based ISP.

After testing out the demo they had on offer in the store and admittedly, still with a little skepticism, I subscribed to their Home Bronze Plan which set my wallet back by N13,000.00 (about $US 80), an amount that would have gone a long way in actualizing my plan of buying a BMX bike for my son for Christmas. Of this amount, half of it was the modem cost while the other half got me a 3.5GB data limit and 800kbps download speed Home Bronze Plan. The data limit seemed very small and, well, very limiting, but the sales lady quickly chipped in that downloads from 12am-6am eeryday do not count towards this data limit.

To better understand the tag line 800Kbps (Kilo Bits per Second), it simply means that you are expected to download files from the internet at a rate of 800kbps divided by 8 which equals 100 KBps (Kilo Bytes Per Seconds). Take note of the difference between Bits & Bytes. Meaning that on a good day, barring unseen interferences, you are expected to download, say, a 1Gigabyte file in less than 3 hours. i have gotten speeds higher that 100KBps on Cobranet Home Bronze Plan but on the average, you are guaranteed speeds of at least 70KBps. By Nigerian standards, this is fast. In fact, the last time i experienced speeds like this was in the United Kingdom.

To still appreciate my mumbo jumbo yarns better, i decided to compare this speed to the GSM internet speeds posted on MTN Nigeria website which gave the average browsing speed of their 3.5G (HSDPA) “high speed Internet” as 800Kbps (100KBps), same as Cobranet’s least browsing speed plan, the Home Bronze Plan. However, i could not help but wonder where MTN picked that figure from. Probably that speed is attainable ONLY in their CEO’s lodgings! God help you if you can get a fraction of that speed, even at their best signal locations.

Cobranet is very fast, and in reality, i can download a 1GB file in under 4 hours. Try that on any other network, a non starter on most. I do wholly recommend Cobranet’s Internet service to anyone, as of today. Yes today only, as i do not give any guarantee that their services would not tow the snail speed line by tomorrow!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories
Articles

Still On Globacom Nigeria

Globacom data services came up today after about a week of outage. However, a quick trip to Ikeja (Lagos Mainland) yesterday gave me a little insight to the extent and spread of these outages. It seems to be more frequent on Lagos Island as subscribers on the mainland seemed unaffected.

The sad part of it all is that users are in no way being compensated. It is even on record that only Glo network refused to compensate its subscribers after the last general RIM Blackberry outage.

What exactly is happening to Globacom, Nigeria’s pride? Much as I hate it, I have since switched to MTN while hoping Glo will not suffer yet another data outage. The question now is “Can a leopard change its skin?”

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.