If you have followed my adventures with the Nokia Lumia 610 and the Airtel free internet promo that came with it, you know it has

My Airtel 3G mobile hotspot via Nokia Lumia 610

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MiFi on a ledge

If you have followed my adventures with the Nokia Lumia 610 and the Airtel free internet promo that came with it, you know it has been a long, torturous journey between the three of us involved. That’s Airtel 3G, Lumia 610, and Mister Mo – the three adventurers in this saga. You will recall how I could not initially get the free internet promo activated on the Airtel line. You will recall how Airtel 3G is a miserable 0 to 2 bars at my location. You will recall how I have issues with the Lumia 610 because one cannot peg network connectivity to 3G out of the box.

Of course, you will recall too how eventually, many months after purchase, I got the Airtel free internet promo activated and after the second month had over 2GB of data laying idle because Airtel 3G is unusable at my end – and I would not dare subject myself to the pain of using their 2G service. I hate wastage. How can the free internet promo just waste away like this? Enough frustrations to last a lifetime. Anyway, I sort of got around these issues. It is all a bit hilarious, but then….. You do want the details; don’t you?

First things first. To lock the Lumia 610 to 3G, I tried out the ##3282# code…again. I had tried it out some time ago and it didn’t work. Well, this time, a menu showed up allowing me to pick 3G only. The mobile gods are smiling on me, after all. I got the 3G-only lock on the 610. However, it is one thing to lock a phone to 3G, it is another for there to be a 3G service that it/you can actually use. You see, for the most part, Airtel 3G fluctuates between zero and 2 bars at my end. What to do? An old trick! I remembered the early days of GSM in Nigeria, when you had to walk around the house to find a spot with good enough network reception to make your calls. I know that some of you still do it. How? That was what I did this weekend! That’s how I know.

I went around the house looking for that good spot for Airtel 3G coverage. Duh. I wasn’t lucky. Next trick – I tried to find a high spot where I could place the phone. Luckily in this case, all I needed it for was wireless internet. I switched on the internet sharing feature and began to climb on chairs and stools, looking for a good spot. I found a spot on a large painting in the living room. I found a higher spot on the indoor unit of the split a/c in the same room. Nice, no? How I for do?

Anyway, that was the best I could do under the circumstances. Despite that lofty spot, the Airtel 3G signal still fluctuates, and it is nowhere near as fast as what I get on Glo and Etisalat here. Still, I have to finish this freebie. After that, I can forget about Airtel till the next freebie shows up 😉 Well, not really. The wife uses Airtel, and keeps complaining about internet services when she’s at home. I’m stuck with Airtel, one way or the other. It was my first network (in the days of ECONET Wireless), but I moved on a long time ago, passing the SIM to the wife. That SIM is what she uses till date. Anyway, besides this crazy arrangement at home, when I am out and about and I get good Airtel 3G coverage, I use it as my mobile Wi-Fi hotspot as much as possible.

You know the song that says, Now that we found love, what are we gonna do with it? Well, now that I have Airtel 3G, what am I doing with it? Heavy downloads – app updates on my phones or software updates on my PCs, music downloads, etc. I hope that my Jelly Bean update for the Xperia P shows up while I still have this data freebie left. I checked this morning, and I still have 1.93Gb left. This expires June 16. The Airtel internet promo has a three month run which started on the 17th of April, so I am sure of another 1GB after that and everything should end on the 16th of July. Don’t be envious now. Just wish me luck!


  1. Hahaha. I still do that sometimes when the Airtel network or any of the other GSM operator’s network goes bad but mostly for data connection. I have found corners of rooms and even placing my phone on the surface of mirror helps. Also using satellite dish and placing the phone around the LNBF mount position does wonders too.

  2. I wouldn’t subject myself myself to such TORTUOUS rigours. Lai lai.

    2Gig is worth less than N2k on the Airy Folks, anyways.

    No, I wouldn’t risk breaking legs, climbing stools and tables, just to save 2k – that will probably result in me pulling out the remaining strands if hair on my head.

    If the signal is poor, it’s just not worthwhile. That reminds me of Etisalat in.my area. Never more than 2 bars since they came to Nigeria!

    Dumped them, permanently.

  3. Well, I’m jealous, airtel’s network is superb in my area, + I want a lumia device, which I presently can’t afford, so…. I dey jealous you Mr Mo.

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