I am not sure why, but articles on Zain Mobile Internet are extremely popular on Mobility Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the top two items in terms of page views on this site are about Zain Mobile Internet.
Perhaps, part of the reason for their popularity can be attributed to the elusiveness of full internet service on prepaid lines. For quite a while, Zain Nigeria’s official policy is that only WAP is available to prepaid subscribers. This means POP3/IMAP mail cannot be used, and instant messaging apps won’t work, among others. See: From Celtel to Zain; GPRS further restricted, published in August last year.
Earlier this year, I demonstrated that with minimal tweaking, email (POP/IMAP) indeed works on the Zain network (Zain Data works on Phones for Web and Email). But IM apps didn’t.
Last Saturday, however, I receeived an SMS from Zain stating in part:
New from Zain! Internet Browsing, MMS & downloads now possible on your handset!
That sounded to me like Zain had done a rethink of their rather backward policy of limiting prepaid lines to WAP access only. I had some spare time yesterday and dashed over to the nearest Zain outlet, where I requested for full internet provisioning.
I was told that the system was problematic, but the guy I spoke with took down my details anyway. I got home around 5p.m. today and a few minutes later, I received an SMS configuration on my device. I saved it, took a peek and saw full internet settings.
In a few minutes, I was chatting on Yahoo Messenger via Slick, checking my mails, and doing all sorts of stuff. No tweaks. Just straight out-of-the-box.
There’s still neither EDGE nor 3G at my location. Yes; its gross. This is Lagos, where every other 3G-enabled network has almost seamless coverage.
So, it is official. Full internet is now available for prepaid subscribers on the Zain network. By the way, I got another SMS announcing that Blackberry service is also now available for prepaid subscribers.
Hop over to a Zain centre and specify that you want full internet service activated on your line. Then you can forget about using proxies in order to be able to browse on your PC. Alternatively, send SMS in the format, “internet sonyericsson P910i”, to 232 to get activated. If it doesn’t work, keep trying.
For those who may find the Zain internet configuration settings useful, here they are:
Well done, Zain. You are late, but hey, we’ll still throw a welcome party! And while we are at it, please extend EDGE and 3G coverage some more please.