Microsoft and Google Enter the Nigerian Digital Real Estate Market

Another African country has joined Libya in the digital real estate market. The country code top-level domain, abbreviated ccTLD, of Libya is the very popular .ly.

Introducing .ng

Nigeria’s official top-level domain is .ng. Domain was the first registered .ng domain in December 2010. Not surprisingly, both Microsoft and Google recently secured places in the Nigerian ccTLD namespace.


Microsoft registered on 4 February 2011, although it remains parked on Microsoft name servers. Possible uses are a Microsoft URL shortening service. 


Google introduced its URL shortening service in 2009 and upgraded it in October 2010.  Google first staked a claim in the Nigerian top-level domain space a few month later, in January 2011. However remains parked on Google name servers and does not yet resolve to a website.

WhoIs for via The Next Web

The Google and Microsoft .ng domains were registered by Nigerian registrar Websoft Ltd. Both and are registered for one year only, according to Nigerian Internet Registration Authority (NIRA) records. The price of a .ng domain registration is approximately $US 50,000 per year.

The Next Web tallied only eight .ng ccTLD domain registrations as of 8 February 2011. Honeywell and 3M were on that list. The other major search engine, Yahoo!, was conspicuous by its absence.


Google and I take the slow boat to China

Today began with a test-run of yet another sociable Google product, with the pleasing name of Hotpot. Actually, Hotpot was rolled out yesterday. The official news site for Hotpot can be found on a brand new Google Hotpot blog on Blogger. I wrote a post about Hotpot at one of my other on-line homes, my Google hobby site, at the Googleplex on WordPress. I’ll include my review of Hotpot, instead of repeating myself.


Free calling in Gmail extended through 2011

Update for International Calling

Google Voice services are available at very low rates for international calls. The rates are competitive in sample comparisons with other long-distance calling providers. For example, cost to landlines in the UK, France, Spain, Argentina, Taiwan and Australia are merely 2 cents per minute.

Rates are higher if calling mobile or satellite phones.

Google Voice

Google Muy Pronto!

The rate chart (price per minute) is comprehensive. Rates are broken out by country and sometimes city, which generally allows more affordable rates for calls to metropolitan areas.

Features and instructions

Google Voice users can enable a function to record individual telephone calls.

Before using any Google Voice feature, review the Google Voice Legal Notice carefully. It includes important instructions!

  • Google Voice is not capable of placing or receiving emergency services calls
  • Google does not claim any ownership in any of the content that you or your callers upload, transmit or store in your Google Voice account.
  • We will not use any of your content for any purpose except to provide you with the Service.
  • Users may buy prepaid credits to be used for Google Voice services.
  • Google will be under no obligation to offer any refunds or reimbursements for the purchase price of such prepayments.
  • Usage of minutes is billed in one minute increments.
  • Prepaid credits are billed at the time of purchase.
  • Unless prohibited by law, outbound calling credit purchased will expire six (6) months from the most recent date of use, and may not be transferred.

Gmail voice instructions

When launching calling in Gmail in August 2010, Google:

… wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the U.S. and Canada free for the rest of 2010.

According to the Official Gmail Blog, free phone service will be extended all year, through the end of 2011.

Dialing a number works the same way as it would for a regular phone. Look for “Call phone” at the top of the chat list once logged on to Gmail. Either dial a phone number or enter a contact’s name. And that is all!

To learn more, visit Gmail Chat and Voice call. Phone calls with Gmail are available free of charge for U.S. and Canadian based Gmail users only.