In retrospective, a lot has changed since GSM came to Nigeria about 10years ago, there has been a lot of positive impact on Nigerians. The way we communicate and do business have changed tremendously; the life of the common people has also been touched in different ways. These change cuts across every facet of life in this country, which is why I am sure alot of people will be celebrating all across Nigeria this year as we mark 10 years of GSM in the country. This is notwithstanding the obvious challenges here and there. Some of the gains of mobile communication in Nigeria have been felt directly or indirectly by the populace and indeed the cooperate world. Job creation and employment is one of the good things that GSM brought to us, the sector is the sector that has employed both highest number of skilled and unskilled manpower in recent times. A great number of people especially the young graduates have been given employment in the GSM companies where they make a living and have become very helpful financially in their families. Apart from this direct employment, auvillary services have been created, where many people are self reliant doing their own GSM businesses, one of such business is making of calls and the sale of recharge cards to GSM users. This business is popularly known as business centers or call centers. Looking around the cities, towns and even villages one will hardly walk about two poles without seeing a business center mainly characterized by the use of umbrellas, kiosks and even shops painted with the colors of the mobile service providers. It is easy to start because it requires little start up capital, in fact all you need is your umbrella as a shade, a stool, a table and your handset loaded with calling credit of any amount say #1000, and you have started. This has provided a means of livelihood for many people who would have been unemployed; some have also learnt the technical aspect of the business by repairing and fixing of mobile phones in their repair shops. Sales of GSM phones and its accessories are big business, it is also very profitable here in Nigeria, and I consider it the biggest gain of this revolution. It has really provided affluence for many who are in the business big time. The return on investment is superb. Having the statics of about 70 million active lines, the Nigerian GSM market remains the the one to beat in the whole of Africa . Many people have actually tapped into this boom. This business is very lucrative. If you have ever visited the Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, You will understand the veracity of the statistics and research given above, the market is said to be the largest phone market in Africa. The impact is also felt in the way businesses are being done these days, it has reduced the risk and cost of traveling long distances, since one can be in his house and actually attend to his/her business using a mobile phone. It has really helped small businesses and enterpreneurs in their quest for business growth. Cooperate Organizations like the banks for example, have integrated GSM technology into banking operations known as Mobile banking where a customer has full access to his or her account using the mobile phone or device. Examination bodies and educational institutions have also employed this technology too where candidates check their results on their mobile phones, the internet can also be accessed from the mobile phone and other value added services like picture messaging, music downloads etc,giving the users a beautiful experience. Socially, we have benefited in the cooperate social responsibility of the service providers and phone companies. Some have provided educational facilities, AIDS campaign awareness, ICT labs, Hospitals and sponsorship of several events, one of such events is the Globacom (one of the service providers in Nigeria) Premiership League where huge amount of money is set aside for the development of Nigerian football. Many individuals have also benefited from these companies by being their ambassadors. Our social life has also improved upon, relationships with long lost friends, relatives and loved ones are kept alive through phones calls. I have personally benefited from the the now rested MAGIC NUMBER that was offered by MTN. More investors are showing interest in Nigeria because of the rapid increase and return on investments, with the issuing of 3G licenses to four telcoms companies,more benefits is on the way for GSM users in Nigeria. A lot of challenges are however being faced. The high rate of drop calls and other network problems coupled with a lacklustre industry regulator is making people to wonder if the GSMrevolution bubble is about to burst, ten years down the road. Infrastructural concerns among the operators and unnecessary and exploitative promos are becoming a big preoccupation of the industry. In the process, the we are slipping on the industry standard and making technological advancement in this area almost unattainable.
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