You have probably read my rant about how Glo HSI has been disappointing at my end in recent times. But the unreliability did not affect

Between MTN mobile internet, Etisalat Easyblaze and Smile 4G

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You have probably read my rant about how Glo HSI has been disappointing at my end in recent times. But the unreliability did not affect just me alone. All five members of my production team (spread across four states of the Federation) have had nothing but horrible things to say about Glo internet in the last few months. Glo HSI effectively crippled our work for the period we used it.

super-fast broadband

So, the team switched to Etisalat’s EasyBlaze, which has been significant better than Glo. But it hasn’t been without its hassles either. Easyblaze manages to fail me often enough to make the experience unbearable. When 95% of what you do relies on fast, stable internet, it all adds up.

As far as I can tell, Smile 4G is still the most reliable consumer internet service in Nigeria till date. It is much faster and fails much less often than the others do. And it is getting more and more affordable. For example, it is now more affordable than packages from Etisalat and MTN.

MTN is somewhere between Glo and Etisalat’s reliability, in my experience. And that means it isn’t good enough either for me to rely on for daily productivity and communications.

And Airtel internet? Please. Listening to my wife’s daily complaints about their service (and how long it often takes my chat messages to deliver to her), looking in Airtel’s direction would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the pits of hell. In my experience, it is the least reliable data service of the four mobile networks.

Forget subscriber figures. In my opinion, the battle for reliable consumer internet in Nigeria is between between MTN, Etisalat and Smile, in that order, with Smile leading the pack by a wide margin.

PS: Yes; I know that internet performance and reliability in Nigeria is generally location dependent, but the above is my experience. Do feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.


  1. In the recent past weeks, I have had terrible experiences with Smile. The network in my area in Ibadan drops fluctuates between 0 and 1 bar. Pages take forever to open and I eventually get frustrated and switch off the MiFi.
    Often, I now rely on using my phone on the Etisalat network as a WiFi hotspot. In my experience, Etisalat data is pretty reliable in my location.

  2. Ironically, I do my browsings on airtel and there ain’t any network (safe mtn) that delivers its speed and quality in Ikire Osun state.

  3. Ironically, I have excellent glo network in my area. My data usage has increased from 9gb to over 12gb Monthly.

    The most reliable appears to be Etisalat across board.

  4. In my area,Airtel has been the undisputed speed champion,using their midnight unlimited data plan it has been an all you can download buffet for me,regularly clocking speeds of up to 2MB/s..long live Airtel,long the midnight plan!

  5. Smile should cover all 36 states at least, then, would they be eligible for this kain comparison. If network quality is not at its best in those few areas they cover, where else would it be, in Jupiter? Abeg, EasyBlaze is second to none!

  6. Sas to sayy NCC disagrees with u by giving the best Glo as d best network in terms of internet connections n I agree with them I mean c’mon look at how Glo has made subscription cheaper than before

  7. I just always wonder why internet connection should be location determined? I mean, what then does it mean when they say they have covered a state?

    One comes to wonder if NCC is really even doing their job?!

    I stay at Igando, Lagos Glo, Etisalat and MTN thrives but are never reliable because speed deepens during the day most times.

  8. ironically, until MTN bought Visafone, they were the SLOWEST, but MOST RELIABLE of all.

    believe me, i have ALL the networks (bar Swift) in my proximity, used by either myself or the people around me. ( i’m usually the scapegoat tech guy who gets dragged to fix what i know nothing about).

    It encouraged me to buy the Visafone BB, which practically had 95% uptime. It was SLOW, but it worked, at a steady pace.

    Then MTN bought it. Now it goes without service for up to 24 hours at random at least twice a week

    When it comes to raw performance the GSM rating is MTN > Etisalat > Airtel > Glo
    Reliability though, Etisalat >MTN>Airtel>Glo

    For Fixed Broadband, its Smile (But their billing though is a wonder)
    . Spectranet are TERRIBLE. USELESS, HORRID. (NB i’m using them to post this)
    Swift, stopped using them because of signal issues.

    Basically, not yet uhuru

  9. I remember days past when a file less than 3mb told me it would require 99days to download on MTN. I did a screenshot and sent to everyone I know.

    My data providers are MTN and Etisalat with the former being more reliable than that latter. You won’t find me holding a Glo sim even if it’s free and Airtel is a slow stead poke.

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