Someone tweeted the following yesterday: A wifi-only tablet won’t work in Nigeria. [Where do I get internet connection?]” I thought that was an interesting, not

Do wifi-only tablets work in Nigeria?

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Someone tweeted the following yesterday:

A wifi-only tablet won’t work in Nigeria. [Where do I get internet connection?]”

I thought that was an interesting, not to mention probably faulty, position, and also that Twitter was limiting. As such, I decided to bring the conversation here instead.

My first of the new generation tablet devices was the original iPad, and I ensured that I got the 3G version for reasons similar to what was expressed in the tweet above. However, in a short while, because of Apple’s silly limitation (no SMS and phone menus), it quickly became frustrating.

In addition, it meant that I had to have one data bundle on the iPad, and another for my laptop (and sometimes phone). I ended up with multiple spending.

After that experience, I have simply not bothered with 3G versions of tablets any longer. I came up with two alternative solutions:

I make sure that I have a mifi device and subscribe to a data plan at only this point, which I share with laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Problem solved.

Hotspot on Smartphone
Or I ensure that I always have an Android smartphone in my kitty, subscribe to a data bundle on that, and share with tablet and laptop. This is what currently works for me. I share a Glo high speed internet plan subscribed to on the HTC One X with my PlayBook and Acer AspireOne.

As far as my experience has taught me, the wifi-only tablet is a more streamlined and economical option if you have multiple devices. If you also work in an office with wifi access, then you also have access to wifi at work. I am self-employed and so carry my own hotspot with me everywhere I go.

But my experience may be an oddity. How about you, dear reader. If you have a tablet, is it wifi-only or 3G enabled? How do you use it?If you don’t have one and are looking to get one, which do you intend to get?


  1. Mr Mo review of Blackberry playbook inspired me to buy one. Especially with the Bridge option to enjoy to the utmost BIS. But I was wrong after the purchase. The playbook will not work until after an upgrade to 2.0.3 version that was a great challenge.

    I tried so many options like looking for Cybercafe with hotspot access but the only one I got at bodija in Ibadan was too slow also their ticket is graded per hour and I ll need like 10hrs. I tried conectify-me and so many other option. The last option that worked for me is buying D-Link Wireless router with modem I expended another N20k for that the router is also choosy it only work with specific model of modem I bought MTN ZTE it was not compartible, I have to buy Airtel Huwaei before it work.

    Now I have wifi hotspot at home. But in all me think with the playbook working fine nowit worth the challengies

  2. As far as my experience has taught me, the wifi-only tablet is a more streamlined and economical option if you have multiple devices.


    IF u own Tablet, you most likely already own a smartphone. subscribe on the smartphone. share. problem solved.

  3. I have empathy for the author of that tweet, having experienced living with a wifi-only tablet for months. Well, there are always work-arounds, like Mr. Mo has stated.

    I’m used to sharing the data on my N8 with my laptop via Joikuspot or Nokia Suite. The sad thing is that Nokia smartphones can only generate wifi with WEP security, and my HP Touchpad (wifi-only) detects only WPA-secured wifi. This limits me to using internet on the Touchpad rarely (like 2ce a month)

    I’m not prepared to buy a Mifi device. That’s extra hardware to carry about, and a smartphone can do its job. So far, I’ve seen that only android devices can generate WPA-secured wifi detectable by the Touchpad. So I intend to get a droid with Huge battery life that can generate my hotspot for me without rapidly draining the battery.

  4. I used to belong to the school of thought that wifi only tablets would work in Nigeria, that changed after some information was made available to me.

    I own a laptop, two smartphones and a tablet. I need internet access on all of them save my BlackBerry.

    I bought a mifi device and that settled the whole issue. Besides I have access to wifi at work, school and at home.

    You may say that the mifi is an extra cost but if you have a tablet, you will most likely have a computer and the mifi makes things easier for you.

    I decided against using a phone as a hotspot primarily for battery concerns.

    I currently use a wifi only tablet and have no regrets about it.

  5. @spacyzuma just brought out anoda point… Buying an android phone that would match the battery life of d tablet. You won’t want ur ‘server’ to die on you.

    I’ll rather get a Wi-fi + 3G option. in Naija of today, only a few people have access to Wi-fi hotspots

    The bottom line… Getting a cheaper tablet (Wi-fi only version is definitely cheaper than Wifi + 3G version) would set you back a couple of bucks ‘cos u hav to get another device with Wi-fi tethering.

  6. @biola in some cases, savings from getting a wifi only tablet can be used to purchase a mifi.

  7. I will be getting a tablet in a few weeks and for now will be using it via the “free” wifi I have access to. Originally I considered getting a 3G tablet, but figured that I’d rather have one wifi connection than two separate 3G connections.

    In the long term, I’m looking at getting a mifi device but haven’t decided on which one. I also want to see how much data I use which will give me an idea of how much I should expect to spend on a data bundle.

  8. Well, my playbook is wi-fi only $ ive neva lacked internet connection on it. I have the option of using my BIS via blackberry bridge. I can also use theinternet tethering feature on it $ connect to my data on my nokia 701.
    Lovin evry minute with it.

  9. @keweno:
    How many devices do you want to be carrying around? I guess ur pants pockets can fit them all. A Wi-fi +3G tablet is just one device yle a Wi-fi only tablet & a mi-fi makes two. Your phone nko? The smart one & the dumb one.

    Back to the topic proper, Do wifi-only tablets work in Nigeria? Yes it does for a FEW who get access to Wi-fi at their place of work or school & private ‘mi-fi’ hotspots owners.

    No be everybody be Adenuga wey go set up him private network, you dig?

  10. if u want the best of smartphone and tablet use mifi 4 them. Then u ll save battery….a battery of mifi can’t last more than 5 to 6 hour. My nokia E6 joikuspot can’t start again, cant fix it,..
    And my mifi device condemns my sims, after some time it ll display no sim,…but am not buying mifi again i rather turn my galaxy y pro dious 2 a mifi device…….

  11. An alternative option to a mifi is your laptop wifi. Intel as a little software called “Intel My Wifi”. it let you share your internet connection via your laptop wifi by creating separate Wi-Fi personal Area Network (PAN). it supports WEP, WPA, and WPA2 protocols. And also supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). The only caveat is that its supported on Intel Centrino Wireless adapter family only, which is found on most new laptops (2010 – )

  12. I use a wifi only iPad, a choice I made considering fact that I own an iPhone that has got personal hot spot moreover it’s economical as Mr. Mo has stated, can’t imagine subscribing to a data bundle on an iPad and doing the same on my iPhone…

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