Why BB Subscription Is Cheaper Than Other Data Plans in Nigeria

I stumbled on a thread at Nairaland yesterday, where the OP shared
the NCC (Nigeria Communications Commission) response to her query on why
Nigeria network providers can’t make other data plans to be as cheap as
BIS (Blackberry Internet Subscription). I’m sure you will agree with me
that the issue of expensive data plans especially for Android
smartphones has been generating a lot of comments online lately.

According
to the thread, RIM, the manufacturer of BlackBerry, utilizes a special
compression algorithm to serve users of Blackberry handsets who have
subscribed for BIS. Whenever such a BIS subscriber surfs the internet
and opens a webpage, a request is sent via the BB’s browser requesting
for the page to be downloaded to the phone. This request is channeled to
RIM’s gateway in Canada, which fetches the webpage, compresses it and
sends the compressed data back to the BlackBerry phone as a download.

Blackberry icon

On
an Android smartphone, the request to open a webpage by subscribers is
sent to the gateway of the network operator which then processes the
information and sends back the page to the Android phone as a download
(the data is not compressed – thereby requiring more bandwidth).

The
amount of bandwidth uploaded is identical between both Blackberry and
Android phones, the difference lies in the fact that most of what
subscribers do on their phones is to download content which varies on
both. BlackBerry is indirectly subsidizing bandwidth by compressing the
content downloaded by subscribers.

In effect, an
internet subscriber using an Android smartphone to open a webpage may be
downloading 100KB of data, while a subscriber using a Blackberry
opening the very same webpage would be downloading 25KB due to the
compression of data by RIM.

Bandwidth in Nigeria is an
expensive resource, because most data is transferred wirelessly. This is
the reason why the NCC is promoting wired infrastructure around the
country through such projects as WIN (Wire Nigeria) as well promoting a
Broadband roadmap for the country which will greatly reduce the cost of
bandwidth thereby reducing the cost of browsing the internet on
smartphones.

I hope you now understand why BIS might continue to be cheaper than other data bundles.

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