Full Internet now available for Zain Prepaid Subscribers

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.

zainPerhaps, 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.

Also read:  Dad or Father? Think again

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:

APN: internet.ng.zain.com
Username: internet
Password: internet
IP/Proxy: None

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.

Update: Official Zain Internet Provisioning: An Update

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

63 thoughts on “Full Internet now available for Zain Prepaid Subscribers

  • March 28, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Pls can u publish the internet settings,i’ll call customer care to provision my line.
    i am in ilorin and there is no zain shop here.
    I use a Windows mobile smartphone but i can configure it on my own.

  • March 28, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Isaac, I have now included the settings in the main body of my article. Here they are again:

    APN: internet.ng.zain.com
    Username: internet
    Password: internet
    IP/Proxy: None

  • March 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    how can i make use of d new zain internent.ng.zain.com 4 IM and MY 2CHECK MY YAHOO MAI

  • March 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm


    Simply launch the IM (Yahoo, GoogleTalk, etc) application on your phone or PC after connecting, and that’s it. Same thing for checking your mails. On PC, go to http://mail.yahoo.com. On your phone browser, go to http://wap.yahoo.co.uk. Sign in with your email account details, and that’s it.

  • March 29, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    9ice one Yomi. ur article helped. thanx

  • April 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Hi, i use a nokia n72 i’ve done all you ask but when i try to connect it dials *99# and on getting to registering computer to the network, it fails saying ppp link protocol was terminated

  • April 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I use zain

  • April 4, 2009 at 6:51 pm


    For quite a number of older phones, there is a need to use an additional initialization command in the modem settings.

    I am providing instructions with two options. Either you do it via PC Suite or from your PC’s Control Panel.

    Via Nokia PC Suite

    Connect your N72 (or other phone) to your PC

    On the Nokia PC Suite, click “Connect to the Internet”

    Then click on the icon that says “Configure”. That’s the icon that looks like a spanner.

    On the next page, select your Nokia phone as the modem, and click next.

    On the next page, select “Configure the connection manually”

    In the box called “Additional initialization commands” enter the following:


    Finally click “OK”

    Now, try to connect.

    Via Control Panel

    Click “Start”, then “Control Panel” on your PC

    Then click on the icon that says “Phones and modems”

    (If you cannot see this icon click on “Switch to classic view”, then click on “Phones and modems”)

    There will be 3 tabs at the top of the window that appears. Click on “Modems”

    You should now see at least two modems listed. One should be your phone modem.

    Highlight your phone modem and click “Properties”

    A new window will appear with several tabs. Click the one named “Advanced”

    In the box called “Extra initialization commands” enter the following:


    Finally click “OK”, then try to connect.

  • April 4, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Same old error still, what do i do next?

  • April 5, 2009 at 3:56 am

    On your phone, under “Settings”, check for the option labelled “Packet Data”, and make sure that the Access Point is set to: “internet.ng.zain.com”.

    If I may also ask, has your line been provisioned for full internet? Can you browse on the phone itself using the internet settings (not WAP settings)?

  • April 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

    How do i move from wap to internet?

  • April 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm


    Hop over to a Zain centre and specify that you want full internet service activated on your line. Alternatively, send SMS in the format, “internet sonyericsson P910i”, to 232 to get activated. If it doesn’t work, keep trying.

  • April 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    They sent the settings. i saved it but all of a sudden i can’t use the setting to browse on my phone. It says ‘packet data not available’

  • April 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm


    On a Nokia, that error message, ‘packet data not available‘, simply means you have not been activated/provisioned for the service.

    As mentioned earlier, the activation system misbehaves, and even though the settings are sent to you, your line is not activated. Keep trying. Or head for a Zain centre, like I did, to make a formal activation request.

  • April 6, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Thanks for your help anyway.

  • April 11, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I,m really grateful. but let me ask is it possible to use a wireless USB for internet (like MTN) for the three lines(MTN GLO ZAIN) thank YOU

  • April 11, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Chikere, I’m not sure I understand your question. But SIMs from each network can be used in a USB modem, if the modem is not locked to one network. I know that MTN’s USB modems are locked to the MTN network only. Zain says theirs is not locked and can be used with a SIM from any other network.

  • April 13, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I have tried several times to subscribe to Zain 50MB internet slot with the activation code *141*712*3# but in vain giving me a continous reply that “the service not available”. Please is there any way some can activate this service? I am tired of MTN that disconnects every few minutes of connection.

  • April 14, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Unfortunately, I know of no other means of subscribing to that plan. Those of us who are already on one bundle plan or the other are also finding it difficult to check our usage with the dedicated service code. It stems from the same problem, I believe.

    I suspect that with MTN’s horrible performance in the last one month, many mobile internet users are simply abandoning that network for Zain. Your guess is as good as mine the effects of such a sudden massive migration.

    It is one of the reasons I wrote Etisalat recently to challenge them to put out bundle services. The currently limited options available means that once one network has issues, everyone bombards the other. Glo is pretty much out of the picture because their bundle plans are not pre-paid.

    I’ll advice that you keep trying.

  • April 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    i couldn’t browse through my phone despite the fact that i save all the settings as required and my phone is sony ericsson w880i

  • April 14, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Seun, it looks like the provisioning system is still acting up. The solution simply is to keep sending the activation SMS and keep your fingers crossed.

    You could also dash down to a Zain outlet to request for internet activation if there’s one in your vicinity.

  • April 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    You all are fake. All the settings and fake promises to give you the configuration for free browsing is fake. Pls Nigerian beware they are cheats and have nothing to offer.

  • April 15, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Excuse me everyone while I have one of those moments…


    Do you read at all or are you just prejudiced by whatever hangups you have carried here from elsewhere? Where on this site have you read or seen any offer of free browsing settings by anyone?

    MobilityArena has zero tolerance for the so-called free browsing schemes.

    There is no single article from members of our team presenting free browsing settings. There is no single comment from outsiders on this site promoting free browsing settings either.

    In addition, I bet you haven’t seen the following articles of mine:

    1. The Free Browsing Tricks on Mobile Networks
    2. This Free Browsing Thing

    The way it is, you are going to be getting into a lot of trouble with this zeal of yours that propels your mouth (or fingers) to babble out faster than your eyes, ears, and brain process the information set before them.

    Rant over. Sorry, folks. I just needed to address this in the very strongest of terms possible. I really do have zero tolerance for foolishness too.

  • April 19, 2009 at 6:23 am


    I am getting fed up with all the sub standard internet services being rendered to us in this Country, mainly because of the speed. I started out with glo, it was a frustrating experience. By the way, can you confirm if glo is still rendering 3G services? I really dont think so.MTN was promising at the beginning, now they’ve joined the pack. Now i’m think of dumping MTN for Visa phone internet. I need your advice.

  • April 30, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I have been trying to configure my zain line but they are never replying what can i do

  • April 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Lanre, you’ll just have to keep trying, or take a trip to the nearest Zain shop, or as a last resort give up on Zain and pick a SIM from MTN, Glo or Etisalat.

  • April 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Which will you consider the best Starcomms, Mtn, Zain,Glo for undergraduates with the different billing plans of different networks and speed

  • April 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Lanre, that’s a tough question you have asked.

    You see, even undergraduates have different needs. Some just need to check their mails every other day. Others do some extra browsing. Some need to download huge files e.g. Music, video, etc

    The needs vary significantly. All we can do is present information as we do and let each individual decide what he or she chooses.

  • May 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Hi ,
    Please i want you to please reply me on how to pay for my blackberry phone , my internet connection is off and i am not in lagos for now but i have brought 5000naira alreadly can you just reply me on how to load it so that i will be connected back… i hope to read from you soon , i am use blackberry8110 pearl

  • May 11, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Gbolahan, if you are on a Blackberry plan, then you need to get in touch with your service provider for payment issues.

  • May 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    hi i need your help, i need to activate my zain line for internet services

    i am on zain lite but need the internet service for my email i.e pop/imap….

    sent several times but it says packet data unavailable ..pls help

  • May 11, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Seun, I wish I had a magic wand to help you with, but I don’t. All I have are the same tips I have repeated to several others in previous comments above.

    Hopefully, Zain will solve the problem that their internet activation system is having soon. I’m Sorry.

  • May 12, 2009 at 7:17 am

    i went there yesterday and they asked me to come back today….I am a prepaid user, i really need this service ..

    Thanks for your earlier reply …

  • May 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    the sending mail work but the receiving mail does not work what do i do?

  • May 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    oops cant send thru mtn smtp

  • May 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Seun, which of the above two scenarios is your experience. You gave conflicting reports.

    At any rate, if you cannot send out or receive mails, you need to re-examine your email settings to ensure that they are accurate.

  • May 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    cant send out on gmail thru mtn

    used smtp.gmail.com

    wat do i do?

  • May 15, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I use an MTN line, and make use of my mail client on my Nokia E62..i make us of pop for my gmail, i can receive but my send my mail.

    Settings Include:

    Username @gmail.com
    Incoming mail server:pop.gmail.com
    security port:ssl
    port no: 995

    Outgoing server :smtp.gmail.com
    Outgoing port :465/587
    security port : tried but start TLS/ ssl
    none has worked

    Please what do i do?

  • May 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Seun, if you have your settings correct, and you are still unable to send out mails, perhaps MTN is blocking the SMTP (outgoing) port on POP. ISPs are known to do this to check SPAM on their networks.

    I suggest that you try out IMAP instead and see if outgoing mail works on that.

  • May 30, 2009 at 12:52 am

    for some reason im still unable to browse the internet with
    zain on my iphone 3g

  • May 30, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Shekoni, are you able to browse with that SIM on another phone?

  • May 31, 2009 at 7:38 am

    i used to browse with the sim on a nokia E71 shortly before i got the iphone.
    are u aware of anyone who browses with an Iphone on zain’s network??
    its impossible to get thru to customer care to activate the full internet service…
    thank you for ur speedy reply.
    p.s; hows your G1 ?

  • May 31, 2009 at 10:29 am


    Your statement suggests that you browsed on the E71 with Zain WAP settings; not full internet. Am I correct?

    If you are in Lagos, you could pop into the Alireta office at Ojodu for help with your configuration. Pease call 08084391076 to fix an appointment.

    The G1 is doing fine. The first in my review series should be published tomorrow.


  • June 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Hi.. Pls I am using N73 and using my zain line tried to connect to my gmail mailbox. Perhaps you can send me the settings. THANKS

  • June 6, 2009 at 9:04 pm


    Your comment doesn’t tell me whether or not your line has been activated for full internet. If it has, what you need are the instructions in my article, Email on your Phone.

    If it hasn’t, you’ll just have to keep trying.

  • June 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    hi Yomi,

    please i am in need of your assistance, i already followed your settings and everything worked fine. With my N72 I connected to the internet on my PC but after i enter an address, it seems like its connecting then all of a sudden the screen freezes and it ends up not opening any web page…..

    i am frustrated now and i need your help plsss

  • June 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm


    Question: Has your line been activated for full internet, or are you have only WAP? Check your phone configuration settings. I suspect that you are using Zain WAP settings on your phone and are simply inputing full internet settings on PC.

    If you have full internet, you should have no problems browsing directly on PC. Please check and let me have feedback.

  • June 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I have a Starcomms Aircard Internet Connection but it’s been wacked for like 2 months now and the provider isn’t doing much to help. If an internet connection fails to access sites like google.com, then you know what I’m talking about. I really need professional advice and help on my choice of another connection from a different provider. I seem to be spoilt for choice now as I understand there’s Glo, Zain, MTN and Intercellular. I want something good enough for my laptop.
    Hope to hear from you……………

  • June 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I did everything but when I tried to connect the mailbox it just keep responding ‘server not found’. Any way thanks for all your help.

  • June 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Those who have been trying to get their line configured for internet using ZAIN.
    This is your day.
    ZAIN is now giving it out to pre-paid subscribers as well.
    If you can’t get yours done by sending your phone manufacture and model to 232.
    Then call 131 or 111.
    They’ll activate it for you.
    Good luck.

    And for the data bundles

    *141*712*4# activates the 100MB called the ZAIN LITE.
    It’ll cost you 1000 naira, and has a validity of 1month

    *141*712*3# will activate the 50MB known as the ZAIN daily plan.
    it’ll cost you 500 naira, and has a validity of 24 hours.

    *141*712*2# = 1GB = 5000 NAIRA

    *141*712*1# = 3GB = 10000 NAIRA

    *141*712*0# is used to check usage.

    Zain please extend your 3G coverage and also increase the speed.

    Is there anyone out there who’s using ZAIN 3G service.
    I’ve been to many places in Lagos, i didn’t detect ZAIN 3G.
    Please tell me the location you detected it.
    I wanna give it a try.

  • June 18, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Infact, Yomi had been trying. My question is about zain, I have received my settings but whenever I browse with my phone browser it writes, ERROR OCCUR KINDLY TRY AFTER SOMETIMES.and with operamini, it writes CONTENT BLOCKED BY PROVIDER. Pls. Advice me on what to do. I am using sony ericsson p990i.

  • June 19, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Abdulrahman, are you able to use that same SIM to browse on another phone?

  • June 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    hi, i need d full explanation on how to configure my system to zain browsing usings bluetooth device,

  • June 22, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Infact, Yomi I am using sony ericsson k320i and when I put the sim in it I can browse but it also shows same off and on. as for p990i I cant even browse it keeps saying as I ve told you. but such is not applicable to MTN and ETISALAT.

  • June 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Good Morning,
    Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and helping people out in this regard (Free Browsing)

    Please i have a China Phone (TECNO) T570 Brand with an MTK 6225 or 6226 firmware or PC Suite.

    The Problem is that i cant get the PC Suite but i was able to configure a connection with my Bluetooth on my laptop for connectivity using the phone as a modem.

    Secondly i checked the list of phones on the link you gave for provisoning of handsets online in Zain’s website but my Handset manufacturer was not listed.

    Do you have a solution for China Phone users to also benefit from browsing with Zain? is there a possibility that i would be able to browse with my China Phone or could you help in leading me to get the PC Suite?

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  • June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm


    First up, I am not sharing any information about “free browsing” on this site. My article above contains no such info, and no other article by myself or any other author on this site does. Please read through again.

    About your request, I have no information about how to get PC software for “China phones”. You could do a Google search though, or check the manufacturer’s website, and you may turn up something.

    I am aware that most “China phones” are not supported by OTA provisioning services, so if you want to activate your line OTA, you’ll need to do so from a supported handset model, then extract your SIM back into your phone. Finally, you’ll need to manually input your network’s internet settings.

  • June 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm


    Can you explain what you mean by the K320i “…also shows same off and on”

    Are you sure that the P990i is not a network branded (and crippled) phone? Some branded phones have so been tampered with that they browse only on the network they are branded to.

    With the SIM in the P990i, send the activation code for Zain Internet, then save the settings that are sent to you. Ensure that they are selected as default and then try browsing again. Don’t forget to let me know if the P990i is branded.

  • June 23, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Good Morning,

    I apologize for the misquote on your article.

    I also want to thank you for the tip. Unfortunately and unbeliveably the website does not have any resources or software for the Phone.

    I’ll try the hint and get back to you

    Thanks again

  • June 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    my p990i is not a branded phone cos I am using it for MTN and ETISALAT for browsing and it works. Also what I mean with k320i is sony ericsson. I am using the sim with it and at times it browse and at times it behaves as I told you.

  • June 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I own a blackberry bold from Zain, but can’t chat on yahoo messanger.
    Keep getting the message “this handheld device is not enabled for this application” what am I to do?

  • June 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Pls how can I connect my k750i phone to my Pc. I need the configuration. Thanks

Comments are closed.