Have you ever used an unlimited data plan? I have, and it feels good. First, we all know that there are no truly unlimited mobile data plans. Mobile data plans are limited in at least one way. That way is usually bandwidth throttling.
The unlimited data plan that I am on is throttled too, but it is done within reasonable limits. The key thing though is that I am able to use my mobile internet connection without worrying about data consumption. That, dear friend, is the beauty of subscribing an unlimited data plan. Let me share with you how using one has changed how I work and play.
Cloud Backup Without Limits
I have now permanently turned on photo and video upload on my mobile device. I can take as many high resolution photographs and shoot as many quality videos as I want and have them backed up to the Cloud for access on any platform – mobile, tablet, PC – without worrying. Back on the old metred connections that I use, turning this feature on often meant suddenly running out of data if you have a heavy upload.
Video Without Worries
I see a video and do not have to worry how large it is and what damage it will do to my data balance. If it looks interesting, I just click away and watch. An unlimited data plan is what many Nigerians need to embrace creating and watching online video. Online content creators need to be lobbying for more ISPs to create unlimited data plans. Online videos will stay a small niche without them.
Without having to worry about data consumption, certain limits in creativity are off. As a web content creator, it is liberating. I do not have to worry about uploads and downloads any more. Freedom to create and upload.
Nothing Else Feels Right
If you have used an unlimited data plan for any significant period of time, going back to a metred data plan is like a free man ending up in in a system of oppression. Who wants to go from liberty into a life of oppression?
One unlimited data plan subscriber that I spoke with described the experience this way: “I have done everything I have always wanted to be able to do with an internet connection. Everything.” That pretty much sums it up.
What Unlimited Data Plan?
I can tell you that a reasonably throttled unlimited data plan will change how you use the internet. At the moment, there are only two mobile networks that offer such plans – Smile and Ntel. And the plans are still expensive when you consider the average income of the average Nigerian.
Smile’s Unlimited Lite data plan costs N10,000 monthly and is capped to a maximum speed of 2 Mbps and throttled to 1 Mbps after crossing the 30 GB usage line. However, it is not available for the data-guzzling residents of Lagos and Abuja. If you want unlimited data from Smile in Lagos or Abuja, what is available to you is the Unlimited Premium plan that costs N19,800 which is capped at 4 Mbps and is also throttled down the line. Personally, I believe that is expensive. Feel free to migrate to any other locations where Smile is available to enjoy this plan.
Ntel also has its Monthly Unlimited data plan. It costs N10,000 too. Update: this plan now costs N17,500. I do not have details of the throttling, but my experience is that it is very reasonable. In addition, Ntel has two other smaller unlimited data plans that run for two days and a week respectively.
Apart from Smile’s Unlimited Premium plan, these data plans are a good start. Plus, data tariffs are crashing on all sides. Unlimited data plan tariffs will crash too at some point in time. Things will get better and better in terms of internet access in Nigeria.
Want To Take The Plunge?
For now, if you can afford N10,000 monthly for internet access – especially if you are a digital creative – and you have a mobile network covering your location, you should give it a try. Once you go unlimited, nothing else feels quite right.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.