Gist Mobile was established to eliminate the traditional barriers of telecommunications and this means that we can provide our customers, primarily Nigerians (and the wider Sub-Saharan Africa), with more choice for communicating. We allow Nigerians access to international numbers using technology that is completely digital and app based: removing a lot of hassles normally associated with long distance communications.
Initially set up in the UK in 2019 by two British-Nigerian telecommunications consultants – Ola Ikotun and Aramide Adebanjo – Gist Mobile provides subscribers the ability to purchase international mobile numbers from the US, UK & Canada which can be used to make and receive calls and messages exactly the same way as regular numbers.
This is even more apparent in a post-Covid world, where physical distancing is the new norm. With Gist Mobile, Nigerians have a chance to feel home-abroad, meaning they can have ‘local’ presence in the UK, Canada and USA (with more countries to come)
The service works as an over-the-top (OTT) calling and messaging app, downloadable on smartphones and allows customers to ‘rent’ virtual (SIM free) mobile international numbers for as long as required. Now customers don’t need to worry about getting and/or maintaining physical SIM cards for international numbers and can receive calls to these numbers over data no matter where they are, while they can make outbound calls at competitive ultra-low-cost rates.
The concept for the business came from the first-hand experience of the founders. As Nigerians living in the UK, but with roots back home, we had the challenges of maintaining our UK numbers when home in Nigeria. Unfortunately, huge roaming costs meant that we needed to resort to WhatsApp for all international communications, but that did not look good professionally. Gist Mobile eliminates those friction points. It provides a ‘travel line’ we can take with us everywhere we go to and allows us to be instantly reachable by those calling from abroad and vice versa.
As the business developed, we realized that as well as the problems we faced, other Nigerians faced slightly different issues, so we developed the solution to work for a number of different people:
- Nigerian businessmen and women who have business interests in the UK, America or Canada and need to maintain a ‘local’ presence in one or more of those markets
- Nigerians who have moved abroad, but who want to call family and friends back home at local rates
- Frequent travelers who do not want to be constantly buying SIM cards and changing numbers
- Anyone who wants to segment their life with a different number for a specific purpose – such as a separate business number. Previously they would have needed to carry multiple devices or purchase multi-SIM phones, but now they can have up to 4 new mobile numbers on their existing smartphone through the Gist Mobile app.
To do all of this, we use clever telecoms technology. Gist Mobile is an app virtual network operator (VNO) that uses Voice over IP technology (VOIP). It is an over-the-top (OTT) service that requires only a connection to Wi-Fi or mobile data to operate. Anyone can use the app provided they have a smartphone and internet connection on their mobile device. And because the technology uses VOIP, voice calls can be originated and terminated using data networks which greatly reduces the cost of making these calls as it uses existing packet data networks on existing providers to offer the service.
However, technology aside, the Gist Mobile app was created to provide Nigerians (and others) with more choice for communicating. We want to eliminate the traditional barriers of telecommunications and allow Nigerians access to international numbers using technology that is completely app based and so is available on your existing smartphone right now.
The Gist Mobile app provides a secure SIM-less telco mobile experience which reduces cost and provides a seamless experience. We have created a new way for Nigerians to connect with friends, family, colleagues, and customers for both personal, private and business purposes.
Featured Image Source: Gist Mobile