I am a very heavy data user and over time, I have subscribed to the data services of nearly all the GSM providers in Nigeria. In this write-up, I will be giving a summary of my experience with all of them. If you just want to skip to certain providers, you can click the links below.
My first experience surfing the internet started about three years ago in 2009 when i begged, persuaded, fasted and prayed for my mum to get the free PCI modems that Zoom mobile was offering then. The modems were given out as freebies while you only have to pay for the data plan of your choice.
Being that the only experiences i had connecting to the internet then were through the overly expensive cyber cafes, i wanted something personal that i could use at whatever time i desired. After my mum eventually succumbed to my pleas, we got the modem and subscribed to the night plan which cost N5,000. The night plan started at 11 p.m and ended at 7 a.m so i became more of an Internet Vampire if there was ever to be such word.
Internet with Zoom was slow with an average speed of 11kbps. Most of what i do and know today all began with this first internet subscription. I opened my Facebook and Twitter accounts in that month, even my blog ( The Emmagination) was opened that same month also. Even my first Facebook picture was uploaded in that same month.
To round it up, getting online via Zoom mobile was a bittersweet experience.
Beautiful in the sense that it started me and gave me the foundation in all that i do today but bitter because most nights it wouldn’t connect and even when it did connect, it was a real pain to use. Once, it took me all 7 hours to download a 145mb file but overall it was okay, well at least at the time.
I started browsing with Airtel on a per KB basis about six months before they started offering mobile data plans. I can boldly stand up and say that i have spent the most on Airtel than any other data provider in Nigeria at the moment. After they started offering 100MB/1000 Naira data plans, i subscribed and burned through it in days most times. It could be agonizingly slow but it was good for me.
After getting frustrated with the slow speed that i was offered, i’ve been switching back and forth between Glo and Mtn for my data servings.
Browsing on Mtn has been a very rocky experience for me but it has been mostly good than bad. Prior to now, it used to be bad but it has been good as of late. In fact, it is the network that i am using to compose this post.
MTN has always been bashed by people in Nigeria in almost every aspect, data not exempted but it all depends on your location. According to a recent survey, Mtn topped the likes of Etisalat and Airtel that tout 3.75G networks which just goes to prove that they are not as bad as they are made out to be, confirming that it all depends on your location.
I used Etisalat briefly when they first launched their alleged 3.75G Network. I say alleged because even though it was quite good, my Glo could match or even in some instances beat it. For the little time that i used it, it was FAST.
When i say fast, i mean very fast but that cannot be said of the last time that i used it though which was like a month and the half ago.
I reserved the last for Glo because it is the network that i use the most and the most efficient(at least for me). Plus they are the only network of all the above mentioned that actually gave me free data in excess of 50Gb which i used for about three months before it expired.
I rarely had any interruptions in service like other networks that i used and the most amazing thing to note is the fact that i’ve only subscribed on it like 5 times compared to Airtel that i cannot even remember the amount of times that i subscribed to their service.
I hope i have been able to walk you through my experiences with the mobile networks that i have used, what is your own data story and how did you first get online?