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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Nigerian women stingy with airtimes – Study

Cover of the week:

REMMY NWEKE & UGOCHI NKWOCHA

Despite speculations that women are more in terms of number in the nation’s population than their men counterparts and are known for asking for airtimes, they are still very stingy with credits, Champion Infotel exclusive study reveals.

This also leaves Nigerian men at the mercy of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators, as they spent more time and money making calls to the opposite sex.

Equally, the study conducted in Lagos, the most populated city in the country and home to 90 per cent of telecom companies in Nigeria, showed that this has been on the rise since the advent of GSM and evolution of mobile communications across telecom technologies such as the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) as well as during festivals, year-in-year-out.

The study, which has 30,000 respondents consisting of 50 per cent from the two sexes of males and females GSM subscribers across the networks of MTN, Celtel and Globacom, proved that male subscribers make more calls than their female counterparts.

According to the summary in spite that females GSM users would prefer the opposite sex to send them airtimes also known as top-up credits, they still engage in ‘flashing’ equally known as ‘peeping’.

Just as when female GSM subscribers venture to call, they always complain of not having enough credit so as to justify their short times in calling and would prefer to be called back, except in the case of calling their children for those who are married.

Males, the study, which cut across students and professionals, indicated that 65 per cent of their calls are routed to females’ receivers, followed by business associates 15 per cent, children 10 per cent and other friends for married men 5 per cent.

For the unmarried men their calls route mostly to females 80 per cent, followed by business associates 15 per cent and the remaining five per cent for other kind of friends.

In addition, the study reveals that even most women when they receive Short Messaging Services (SMS) would stick to replying through the same medium, while their men counterparts would go the extra miles of putting a call through to either appreciate the sender, especially when it is a prayer and religious related or simply to hear the voice of the sender to be firmly assured that all is well.

Out of the total figure of 15,000 male respondents on the 10 most called lines, 80 per cent claimed to spend a good number of their times on phone with their spouses.

The figure also competes aggressively with the number of calls unmarried males put through to their girl friends, even as both married and unmarried men spend an average of 5 to 10 per cent of their airtimes on the opposite sex, invariably dear to their hearts.

While spouses topped the figure with about 80 per cent, girl friends gave the spouses a close mark with 50 per cent alongside business associates.

Most of the male respondents also call their favourite persons between four to five times daily, and some still call just once, especially among the married respondents, yet others cannot simply remember how many times but admitted they call randomly when the situation arises, mostly concerning children.

Also, for some men, children came second in grading of whom they call most in order of priority after their wives.

Another discovery, according to the study was that even when some women earn better than male counterparts, they still claim not having sufficient credits to make calls for a longer time than one minute, but would prefer to use the available airtime to flash their spouses, boy friends and call children or their own family members.

Thus bringing into fore the African mentality that men should always have.

However, the introduction of mid-night calls for a given mandatory airtime on any caller have afforded female subscribers and girl-friends precisely to try to reciprocate calls from their male counterparts, especially among the unmarried ones.

Additionally, most mid-night calls were rated over 60 per cent irrelevant considering the consequences of staying awake and keeping the receiver equally awake, willingly or unwillingly.

For the 10 most regular called lines on respondents phones genderwise, most men felt unsafe initia and reluctant than their women counterpart and for every 150,000 regular numbers from male GSM phones, it turned out that both sexes have 50 per cent share apiece, while female subscribers recorded 80 caller numbers on their phone sets with women topping the figure with 46 while 34 went for the men.

Thus indicating that although most men would prefer to call the opposite gender, female GSM subscribers prefer to call themselves often than they call men.

Relatively 40 per cent of total female respondents indicated that they call for upto 10 minutes, 10 per cent call for between 10 and 20 minutes, 20 per cent call for 30 minutes, while 10 per cent said upto an hour especially during the mid-night calls and another 10 per cent spend less than 10 minutes calls to their favourite persons.

Equally, 40 per cent of female respondents said they call daily to their favourite persons, 10 per cent twice weekly, 20 per cent thrice and 10 per cent once a week.

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