Everybody reading this post uses a cell phone, now this technology is 45 years old.
The first cellphone called Danatac was invented by Motorola which cost 4000 dollars in US. It was first used on 6th April 1973 .
The cellphone has gone through massive transformation over time. There is hardly anything it cannot do relating to data and voice communication.
There are at least six billion users of cellphone in the world today. China tops the list with 1,321,930,000 users followed by India with 1,151,936,422 users and United States that has 327,577,52 users. Nigeria has 167 million users of cellphone out of a population of 180 million.
The first experience we had with cell phone in Nigeria was from the presidential guards during the Babangida regime. We saw them talking to a device among themselves while in the president’s entourage and we asked ourselves if they were talking to spirits. That was 1985.
Later Abacha introduced the cellular phones in 1995.
An 090 line cost N150,000, a handset depending on brand about N40000, you pay activation fee N25,000.
That time travelling from Lagos to North needs roaming charge of N5,000 which was later reduced to N2,500 otherwise your line will not work(crazy nation).
Your entire stay in North can finish before the roaming started working. Meanwhile your money had gone.
They said North and South used different exchanges. In Portharcourt you had to go to Enugu to activate the line. All states in the east rely on Enugu for their complaints. There was an advanced deposit for consumption and from then you receive monthly bills that run into hundreds of thousands.
The corrupt Nitel workers can create proxy lines or duplicate your line. There is a particular line they can sell to you called “FIRE”,that one you only call and cannot receive. Phones were status symbols,men carry empty handsets talking to empty air just to show up and impress girls.
You are billed both ways calling and receiving, meanwhile only voice and there was no text message or any kind of data,the expensive handsets were analogue, no colour. If you want caller I.D facility you had to pay N5,000.
When GSM came, a sim card was sold for 25,000 Naira. Today it is 150 Naira. Handsets that could only receive voice message and SMS without data cost from 20,000 to 150,000 naira. Today such phones cost 3,500 naira. Nokia Communicator was the highest phone that sold for 250,000. I saw it recently on display for N6,000 naira.
Let us celebrate cellphone. It is our most important personal device. It is one thing we cannot do without.