I chat with a number of friends who use MTN for their internet connection. Often, a message that I send to them leaves my device (an indicator confirms that) but does not get delivered at their end for up to 3 hours. This is my experience whether we are chatting via BlackBerry Messenger, Yahoo Messenger or WhatsApp. Yes; it is that bad.

MTN Internet Users Cope by Swearing and Cursing?

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Question for MTN internet users

For many months, I was happy with the speed and reliability of Etisalat EasyNet services. I have a dedicated Etisalat SIM for my internet needs. However, things have gone downhill rather quickly in recent times. Now, 3G service often disappears for upwards of 20 minutes at one stretch, and that happens a number of times each day. It has become a frustrating experience.

My primary mobile number is from Glo, and when it works, it is often extremely fast. However, I cannot rely on them at this time either. You see, if Etisalat is becoming frustrating, the situation with Glo is much worse. I have not had internet reception on my Glo line in days. I have called Glo Customer Care a couple of times, but then you probably are already aware of the legends of those guys; don’t you? I will come to the case of Glo internet service in another article.

Anyway, seeing that I have an MTN MiFi device lying idle somewhere, against better judgement based on years of experience, I thought to give MTN a try. A very little test. I loaded a small amount of airtime and subscribed to one of those plans. I am seeing 3G here on MTN, but I swear by my great grandfather’s golden beard that getting anything done on this connection is a pain in the behind. I was so super-frustrated that I tweeted the following question:

Here were some of the responses:
MTN internet users respond

By their own admission, MTN internet users cope by swearing and cursing. To be honest, I came quite close to doing that too last night. Very close.

For hours, I was unable to load Twitter or Facebook on my PC. Being a super lightweight design, MOBILITY.com.ng loaded fine. The MTN connection is so bad that I have not been able to complete a speed test so as to have tangible data to present in this article. It keeps disconnecting halfway through the tests. I could try again, especially now that everybody is in bed and it is a bit more stable, but I am tired already. I just want to get this article out of the way and get back into bed.

Using other internet services, I chat with a number of friends who use MTN for their internet connection. Often, a message that I send to them leaves my device (an indicator confirms that) but does not get delivered at their end for up to 3 hours. This is my experience whether we are chatting via BlackBerry Messenger, Yahoo Messenger or WhatsApp. Now, using MTN, when I send a chat message, sometimes it doesn’t leave my device for hours. Yes; it is that bad.

Usable for Batmen, Vampires, Lycans & Werewolves
Don’t get me wrong. From experience, MTN internet is very usable and can deliver manageable speeds, but only between the hours of 2 AM and 7 AM daily. If you are a night crawler, you should be happy with it. I do the night thing once in a while, like today now, simply because all I’ve got at the moment is MTN internet and I need to work. But I don’t want to be awake at 4.01 AM every day just to be able to get usable internet service.

Fantastic Four
Yes; this article shines a spotlight on MTN mobile internet, because in my opinion, it is the worst of the lot. However, do not be fooled into thinking that it is 100% bliss elsewhere.

I don’t get Airtel 3G signal at my residence, so I can’t use it.

Glo mobile internet regularly goes Absent With Out Leave, as it has currently done. I heard that it is on holiday in Tema, Ghana.

Etisalat 3G is here, but is gradually inching towards the position that Glo 3G now occupies – going on and off without a care in the world.

Mtel…. oh! There was once a network called Mtel; right? The one that government couldn’t run profitably.

So, here we are. We have the Fantastic Four alive and kicking in our cities, and yet salvation is far. As a confirmed mobile madman, I have NEVER subscribed to any internet service other than a mobile one. Perhaps it is time to look away from the GSM providers and explore other ISPs for a change. Cobranet? SWIFT? Forgive me for being skeptical, but I doubt that any of those others are better. Plus, there still remains the issue of mobility. What happens during a quick business trip outside of Lagos? Fall back on the GSM guys?

We sure need a hero mobile internet provider. Good morning, good people.


  1. Been enjoying the 1Gigabytes AirTel BSM in my neck of woods. Surprisingly, in the past two weeks , the service has been well above average. So far, so fast! 3g, steady!

    I certainly rate it higher than Etisalat and Glo.

    petrol and water don’t mix. Eye_bee_kay and MTN, forget it.

    I have heard people rave about Etisalat. not so in my area. never.

    I guess these networks have a mind of their own. they choose when and where to perform, data_wise..

    the other ISPs? forgeeet!

    I know someone running a cyberspace that cycles through ISPs the way a Mobile App Junky cycles through Android apps.

    he has used them all. as at the last time, he just dumped Mobitel for SpectraNet.

    i salute the guy’s tenacity purpose. na by force to run cybercafe?


  2. This Internet service debacle in Nigeria is a painful and frustrating one for us data-hungry Nigerians. I believe this is just a part of the complex leadership/government/economic problems we have in this country. Internet that is cheap, accessible, available and common like sachet water in Europe and North America is like a rare privilege in Nigeria. It shouldn’t be. Wi-fi should even be available free for use in strategic public places,facilitated by the government as is done in better countries. But Nigeria is so backward in virtually everything. If ordinary 3G is still a mirage, 4G must be a castle in the air. One thing is sure: anybody that can crack the Internet service problem (like anyone that can fix our electricity problem) and make it a standard, beautiful and consistent experience for Nigerians will be a wealthy hero for life.

  3. Etisalat only works best from 2am to 5am. Used it to update my BB Playbook the first time.

    MTN’s crap but remains the most accessible. Until better.

    Airtel is a joke most times. Use at your own risk.

    GLO is a travesty. I do not recommend.

  4. I totally agree with you Mr Mo. I don’t remember using mtn data plan anytime this year, it was a bad taste for me when I tried their 200mb plan and I could only use 16mb in the whole month due to terrible service, I don’t even bother crediting the line.

    I currently use airtel for my data services, and use edge only cuz it lets my Android go as long as 10 hours, plus airtels edge is fastest of all others from my location.

    I totally don’t like their lying attitude of claiming to offer 3.75G speeds, I would prefer a provider that tells me they would offer me a certain steady speed even if it’s not HSPA. I don’t mind 100KB/s as long as it stay so, I just need steady speed.

    I don’t see them improving anytime soon, presently for folks on mtn, cursing is the game, for glo guys, hope stays on their lips, for etisalat peeps, it’s a prayer for fair weather, Airtel users can only pray bad service doesn’t come anytime soon.

  5. I was using Etisalat internet services up till about one and a half months back when I couldn’t keep resisting the Airtel BB social plan that gives the user 1GB data for the duration of 30 days.

    Initially after the subscription, I experienced some shock when I realized the plan can only allow me use Opera Mini and nothing else. I was so disappointed that I went to Ubuntu site to download the last version of their stable Linux release. I was eager to burn the 1GB and return to Etisalat, but after about 6 days, the plan started working normally like any other mobile plan.

    I have been on Airtel ever since and yes, it is not as fast or as stable as what I was experiencing on Etisalat, but it is very usable at all times and adequately fast, at least as fast as my last experience with Glo, but way more stable than Glo.

    Etisalat from my experience, can download 700MB worth of data in less than 30 minutes by extrapolation, but Airtel can achieve same feat in about 90 minutes and that’s goods enough for me. There just has to be major issues that will make me go back to Etisalat as long as the Airtel BB social plan is still good. Yes, a third of Etisalat’s speed is good enough for me if it means more than 3 times data allowance.

  6. first of all, let me say that these networks perform better in particular areas than in other places. the fact that a particular network is performing below average in your area does not mean it is like that everywhere. I am pleased with what etisalat is offering me on Blackberry, they are simply wonderful,while glomobile meets my data needs on my laptop. Occassionally, the usual downtime crops up, but i can still manage with that. Take note also that i intentionally did not mention ’empty hen’, i simply cannot take their ‘you cant cope with us, you can leave’ attitude.

  7. Just like Mr Mo mentioned. I think I may as well be getting one of the ISPs service for home use. I have been using the airtel bsm package for the 1gig data it offers. But airtel can be annoying most times. The network will indicate 3g but you cannot browse with it. It only works at night.

  8. I drop a comment whenever I like a post on a site or if I have something to add to the conversation.
    It’s caused by the passion communicated in the post I browsed.
    And on this post MTN Internet Users Cope by Swearing and Cursing?
    | MOBILITY. I was actually moved enough to leave
    a thought 🙂 I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind.
    Is it only me or do a few of the responses appear as if they are written by
    brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional online social sites,
    I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post.
    Could you make a list every one of all your
    public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter

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