I just read an article Data Plan Award: Best mobile internet in Nigeria on Mobility Blog.

The following was meant to be a comment on that post, but got so long. I decided to make a full post out of it.

Remember my earlier post, The Dilemma of Being a Nigerian Phone User? The tone of the Mobility post miffed me enough to write this rejoinder.

Here goes :

We often mix up cheap data plans (Gigabyte per ₦) with efficient utilisation.

What’s the use of a ₦200 for 2GB plan that gives you max, 4KB/S on Airtel ? I have several people reporting that the Airtel price buster new data plan is practically unusable in some areas, but blazing in a few others. Yet to try it myself.

I would rather pay more for data I can really, really use at a decent pace, everywhere I go, than some paper data allocation that cannot be used productively (if at all) as I often had with GLO N1k for 3GB plan

When you allocate more data for a particular plan, but stifle / throttle its efficiency, you have given with one hand and taken back with the other. That’s a waste of everybody’s time.


Etisalat that is touted to be blazing fast is total rubbish in my neck of woods (no, I don’t leave in a Forest). I abandoned Glo because I could no longer cope with the unending intermittent interminable outages and abysmally slow speeds (when it works) . SLOw with pride? Totally unreliable.

Airtel was stealing both my data and call credit. I ported to Etisalat. What you pay for is not what you get for some of their data plans! A well known IBK-fact.

Only MTN seems generally okay, but they also tinker with the promised data allocation in their night plans, but at least their speeds are said to be decent, most places.

I think it may be more apposite for these networks to concentrate on, and address the connectivity non quality, be truthful and embrace full disclosure in their dealings with the consumers rather than all these paper data allocation.

NCC can certainly do much better.

The sneaky fraudulent habit of surreptitiously subscribing people to services on almost all the networks, and charging them for it…. is brazen theft, and my latest episode was with Etisalat which stole my ₦50 for a service I didn’t even know existed, apologized when accosted on Twitter, unsubscribed me from the fake service, but insisted they can’t refund my stolen money.!

Does Ntel for instance make it well known to the public (non techies) that only phones with LTE can work on their network?

As things stand, you can not rely on a single data plan if you do serious business online, in Nigeria. After so many years of operation in Nigeria, practically all the networks should cover their faces in shame for their inability to offer usable data, equally, everywhere (even in areas within a city like Lagos) .

When Ntel was about debuting , the public thought the Messiah to our data woes has come. Cheap, blazingly fast data, we anticipated . But alas, it has been a big letdown. The masses can’t afford the service, and the national data coverage is appallingly scanty, and the QoS questionable.

No, I don’t think it’s time to sing kumbaya, yet, for the data consumers, but we are getting there .. .

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