A networks data plan post became an imperative after yesterday’s post on MTN Pulse. The records should show that TP treats all GSM companies in Nigeria equally. This post on the all networks data plans would be restricted to GSM networks. Firstly, they provide the cheapest data plans and secondly, they are used by almost all Nigerians. ISP’s like Smile, Spectranet, Swift and ntel, on the other hand, are mostly restricted to cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Perhaps some day, we would do a comparative analysis of what they are offering their customers in terms of data plans.
The inspiration for this piece was the rash of new data bundles being offered by the GSM networks. As if they just woke up from a deep slumber, the networks have being churning out all manner of data plans. The common denominator is the upward review of the data limit. That is, one still pays the same price, but for more data. I think the next stage in this ‘data war’ is lowering the money paid on data and increasing the validity. For instance no network data plan or bundle includes a N500 bundle with at least a validity of 1 month. The base cost for all the network data plan with a validity of 1 month remains N1000. Seriously, this smells like price fixing to me, which is illegal. Anyway, what we have now is a lot better than the 100MB at N1k that was the norm in the beginning!
Okay, lets get down to it. This review of the network data plans would be done alphabetically.
Airtel Network Data Plans
The latest data plans or bundles from Airtel is known as SmartSPEEDOO Data Plans. The table below summarizes all the plans available and their activation codes.
The 1.5GB @1k plan is the most popular in this category. It used to be 1GB until a few days ago when it was upgraded. The 750MB @500 is also cool. It has a validity of 2 weeks. So if you don’t have 1k,you can do that one as it is almost the same as the 1.5GB plan.
Airtel also have a time-based plan. It is summarized in the table below:
When this plan first came out a few weeks ago, it was very popular. Add the fact that Airtel recently optimized the speed of their network, one could download a lot in the time allocated. But for some reason, the 3 hours plan that used to cost N200 was reviewed to N1000. I’m not sure Airtel’s time-based plans are popular anymore
And finally Airtel have the ‘Mega Packs’ plan. This is strictly for heavy users:
Etisalat Network Data Plans
The table below summarizes everything. As you can see, there is a lot of similarity between this and Airtel’s. Especially the N1k plan that gives 1.5GB for 30 days. This is one data plan that is exactly replicated in both MTN and Glo
The next table shows some more options in Etisalat network data plans:
I don’t use Etisalat anymore. Yes, the network is fast. You hardly get any downtime. But, the burn rate of the allowable data is ridiculous. I gave up on them when I depleted 500MB in less than 2 weeks on my phone. With other networks like Airtel and especially MTN, 500MB on my phone last more than a month. I always roll over the remaining data into the new month. With Etisalat, talk of roll over is a non-starter.
Glo Network Data Plans
Glo also have similar plans to both Airtel and Etisalat. Take a look at the tables below for their plans and bundles.The most commendable plan that really stands out relative to other networks is the weekend plan. With just N500 you get a data balance of a whooping 3GB. You can use this plan for two weekends. The definition of weekend is Saturday and Sunday.
The Glo weekend plan is an absolute bomb, If the network is good in your location. The common complain about Glo is the poor network in many locations and the numerous down time. So I advise you to hop on to Glo only if your are sure of the network. I have never enjoyed that Glo weekend plan because Glo is terrible where I stay. And believe it or not, I leave smack in the middle of town where network should be excellent.
MTN Network Data Plans
The data plans below are the latest from MTN. I won’t be surprised if by next week there is a review of the plans. The competition this days for subscribers is sizzling hot. Have a look at the plans. Again notice the similarities between these and the other networks. That is why I think something illegal is going on. And if it is actually a price fixing issue, it is a blatant gang up to deprive subscribers of the benefits of real competition. And it is illegal in Nigerian laws.
That aside, MTN is my absolute favorite. They tick all the right boxes. What you pay for is what you get. The network is almost as fast as Etisalat and Airtel (sometimes even faster than Airtel). You hardly get any network disruption and they are available in any location I find myself. I’m surprised why MTN don’t want to leverage on their advantages over the other networks and just lower the price of their data. Or perhaps, they don’t have enough capacity to handle the extra millions that would switch over to the network.
So, there it is. A comparative look at all networks data plans. The bottmline is, we now have choices and options aplenty.
photo credits: 247ureports.com; africa.airtel.com; linkedin.com; etisalat.com.ng; creativestudios.com; gloworld.com; gongnews.net;