For the first time in many months, Nigeria fell off Opera Mini’s top 10 countries list, while Vietnam made its debut. Advertisement Here are other


Nigeria Drops Off Opera Mini Top 10 List

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For the first time in many months, Nigeria fell off Opera Mini’s top 10 countries list, while Vietnam made its debut.


Here are other statistics from the report:


  • Nokia and Sony Ericsson are by far the most popular handset brands chosen by Opera Mini users in the CIS
  • Users in the top 10 countries save up to 672 million USD per month, or over 8.1 billion USD per year

Behind the Scene

Apparently, part of the phenomenal growth of mobile internet usage in Nigeria stemmed from the widespread practice of illegal free browsing, as subscribers generally by-passed network tolls (usually by tweaking certain settings in Opera Mini itself, alongsideother applications on PC).


Of recent, it has been reported that both MTN Nigeria and Zain Nigeria took steps to curb this practice, blocking off access to Opera Mini’s servers, and thus resulting in the recorded drop in usage. If the networks are able to keep hackers off their mobile internet services, we can expect to see Nigeria drop further on the Opera Mini chart.

Those rooting for illegal free browsing because of supposed high mobile internet tariffs need to explore legal options. For example, the very same Opera Mini that the hackers use to bypass network tolls deliver incredible savings on browsing because of its compression technology.


Personally, I have used Opera Mini extensively and even with my heavy usage, a 100mb bundle subscription (costing just N1, 000 per month) is more than adequate when used on Opera Mini. Even pay-as-you-go internet is made much more economical.

This is an application that already helps the subscriber cut costs by as much as 90% (that’s almost free browsing, if you really, really think of it).

Is it too much to let the network operators make that small margin just so they can keep access to the Opera Mini servers alive? In my opinion, this free browsing craze is not the product of poverty, but of gross selfishness, self-centredness and of corrupt minds.


But what do we care?

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  2. Yomi, sometimes I wonder! Opera mini has truly made it so cheap to access the internet and many are still looking for ways to cheat. I checked my Zain lite traffic statistics last night and it stated that I had used 13mb out of 100mb. It expires today. All thanks to an old version of Opera mini.

    Opera mini 4.2 and 5 don’t work on my mobile, maybe due to Zain’s blockade?

  3. I miss opera mini because of the things I could do with it. However, alternatives exist.

    First, all hope is not lost on the minis as the latest version 5.0 still works on zain. Bolt works fine on all networks.

    Also one can make do with opera 8.65 as a better alternative to the native browser. I long to see a period where Nigerians would get their minds of by-passing billing machines and do what is right.

  4. Many people are not aware of the internet bundles being offered by Zain and other networks. The service providers should place adverts about their data service in the media just the same way other products like Joli, step up, extra cool, classic, classic plus, easy starter, clique… to mention but a few. I get most of the info on data services on this website.

    If people are aware of what they can achieve with 1k/month suscribed for data then the use of free browsing will be reduced drastically. Lower bundles such as weekly should also be introduced, Zain should also do something about their network cos i’m think of trying Etisalat when my current bundle expires in 2wks time.

    I really love opera mini but i’ve been having a tough time opening pages thru it for some days on my zain lite.

  5. I have a rather different opinion on this.

    Zain has not blocked Opera Servers. I know because I can (still) browse free with Opera. Neither has MTN. Opera has numerous servers. New ones are being created all the time (the latest being specifically for the new Opera Mini 5). It is a matter of the cheat method used.

    Also other browsers like Bolt and UcWeb now have modded (modified) versions that allow the specification of browsing cheats. I believe the increasing popularity of these alternative (and very capable) browsers is what is making Opera Mini to lose some patronage! For example, UcWEB is generally faster than Opera Mini in rendering pages and handles downloading far better than Opera Mini.

    cgi proxies used in some of these free browsing techniques are numerous. The alternative used to work the magic are too numerous to count.

    attempting to stop free browsing is a lost battle for the providers. This is the honest truth. It is like the case of abortion. whether you legalize it or not, people will still do it. You night as well legalise it.

    Let the providers make browsing free. They are making enough money from data and other ancilliary services!

  6. EyeBeeKay,

    Your opinion is not just a matter of being different, your opinion is outrightly immoral and criminal.

    It is immoral and criminal to take a commercial good or service without paying for it. While people like you may whine about the leadership of our country being corrupt, you are just as corrupt as they are and you deserve those very leaders.

    Your attempt to place abortion and stealing on the same platform is insipid. All religions – even atheists – recognize that stealing is wrong. What you are doing with this free browsing thing is stealing. Simple.

    It is not your place to determine what a business organisation should offer for free. It is not your money, your resources or your time invested in keeping those operators running.

    The right thing to do is pay the official tariffs while encouraging the networks to implement even lower tariffs. As a matter of fact, if you and all others who so thoughtlessly, greedilly and selfishly bypass network charges pay the official rates, the law of economics tell us that mobile internet tariffs will drop faster (and they’ve been dropping over the years).

    By the way, we usually do not publish comments that promote illegality, as yours does. I thought I’d let yours be an exception as an example of the warped kind of thinking that pervades our country today.

    PS: Like it or not, the networks are blocking, and many users are reporting an inability to use Opera Mini.

    Attempting to stop free browsing may be a lost battle (and even I think so too), but isn’t that the story of our lives in Nigeria? The battle against corruption in the country is largely a lost battle. Which is why the fact that you gloat over it says something.

    While you and others may keep finding ways around it, it won’t change what your actions are called – stealing, corruption, crime. And the consequences of our wrong choices and actions will always jump on us at every corner.

    I doubt if anything I have said will make a difference in your case. As a matter of fact, it will be a pleasant surprise if it does. Sad.

  7. opera makes browsing ridiculously cheap that any form of hacking exposes one as kleptomanic. Anyway, the networks probably pefer people using native browsers especially on pay as you go. It rakes in more money for the providers if you ask me.

  8. Yomi Bamgboye, you write so powerfully and forcefully. I think you will make a rather potent social crusader.

    Thanks for the compliment. I think I make a good preacher. Social crusader? Nah. PS: Can you at least make the attempt to get my surname right? – Yomi

    Contrary to what you keep stressing, I also do not believe it is right to steal. The laws of retributive justice have a way of swinging into action. There laws are automatic.

    Where you & I part ways (in this discussion) is in you interpreting free browsing as criminal, illegal and stealing. Your vitriolic attack and your hasty conclusion on my character is quite unfortunate. To be honest, I had a feeling you would not publish my first post. It was a pleasant surprise that you did.

    My conclusion on your character is spot on. Taking commercial service behind the back of the service provider without paying the fee is stealing.

    Here are a few definitions of stealing from
    stealing –
    1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
    2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.

    Free browsing takes something that should be paid for without permission or right. By-passing network toll is stealing. Simple. – Yomi

    I feel there is a need to make a distinction between what is illegal and what is immoral. Free browsing may be unethical and illegal. But I do not believe it is immoral, theft or criminal. Would you classify browsing using wi-fi (or using JoikuSpot) as stealing? You have a single internet connection. You decide to split it on several systems. Is that stealing (by your definition)? After all, you paid for a single internet connection.

    That is not stealing. I paid for the service. Your analogy is way off and there is no comparison between the two. In free browsing, you refuse to pay. Stealing. – Yomi

    Can I buy vintage Ebenezer Obey CD, love it, duplicate it, and give it out as Xmas present?. That is stealing, right? Can you claim you NEVER burn CDs? Would you say because I buy a single copy of a software CD, I can not install it on different computers (if the Author prohibits it – but the software authors do not implement an EFFECTIVE way to prevent this).?

    If you want to give out a gift, go buy a second CD. Nevermind that the author is unable to prevent copying, if the CD is sold ON THE TERMS that it be not copied, you are stealing. – Yomi

    I say that there is a tenuous line between what you call stealing and what I call exploiting a business loophole.

    As a businessperson, it is your responsibility to close all business loopholes. Otherwise, smarter people will explore, then exploit those holes.

    In which case, what you call smarter people are simply called thieves by people in their right minds. Your line of reasoning is mind-fuddling. So, if I am unable to effectively prevent the entry of unknown persons into my house, and a group of robbers break in and make away with goods, they have not stolen?

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem. – Yomi

    It may interest you that I have said for internet service too many times withous getting service. (I have used MultiLinks. Starcomms in the past)

    In which case you should seek moral and legal channels of redress – Yomi

    And cut out this holier-than thou sanctimonious b.s!. You probably browse for free too, but will never admit it in public.

    Sorry to bust your bubble, you twisted, worthless excuse for a man (or woman), I don’t. I even borrow money to go pay if I have to. But I pay. Everytime. – Yomi

    This is an argument you can not win.

    I don’t intend to win it. I know it is a lost battle. People like you will always exist and get worse – stealing and cheating your way through life, and trying to justify it at every turn. – Yomi

    If you want up to discuss this further, let up take this off this thread. You have my email address (are you selling those email addresses secretly, by the way? Would that be ‘stealing’ too?)

    Again, sorry to burst your bubble, I don’t sell email addresses. I have never done it, and unless you succeed in converting me to a criminal mind like yourself, I do not see myself doing it.

    I also have no intention of wasting my time pursuing this discussion with you any further than this. While you cheat your way through life, I have to work my butts to at least attempt to do things the right way. It is hard work. Don’t expect my mail. – Yomi

    Would really love to hear your response to this, Pastor Yomi…

    I love what you are doing. I check your site EVERY single day and usually get the latest info from you guys first..

    Thanks. I am delighted that this site is providing much-needed information to people. – Yomi

    I hope to hear from you.

    You are not going to hear from me. This discussion ends here, sorry – Yomi

    Ibukun Olaoya

    PS: To regular Mobility Nigeria readers, I apologise that I had to handle this comment this way. But every now and then, someone comes along that needs to be handled this way. Of course, you can be sure that this discussion between EyeBeeKay and I is now rested. Thank you for bearing with my foolishness, though I’m also hoping that it provided you some mild entertainment. – Yomi

  9. Hi Yomi,

    Is the compression capability of opera mini a way of cheating service providers? If the answer is yes, then the use of opera mini is criminal.

    I’m also guilty just like many others.

  10. Kayode,

    The compression technology of Opera Mini is not cheating. In a number of ways, Opera Mini helps the networks, for example by reducing the load on network resources. Note that the subscriber still pays for whatever data is transfered when using Opera Mini.

    But when applying free browsing cheats (whether via Opera Mini or Your-Freedom, or any other means), a subscriber transfers data without paying for it. That’s stealing.

  11. the free browsing thing is illegal but the steps taken to prevent its exploitation by MTN is likened to killing an ant with a hammer. instead of stopping it all together they can work around it making their homepage secure because the trick exploits SQL injection tricks.

    and secondly introduce packages similar to the zain lite package or make data a reward for recharging. This way they stand to gain more than their current method.

    MTN and others should realize the revolution of mobile browsing like their contemporaries in europe and north america have and exploit these opportunities.

  12. Well, I was never even aware of Zain’s data service until I saw this page. Thanks for the info. Using Etisalat has been really draining on my pocket, and Mtn is out of the question on my phone as it (a Nokia 5130c) comes preinstalled with opera mini.

    I can also understand your rage at the ‘free’ browsing craze that is all the rage in Naija today. But what can I say? Nigerians have the leaders they deserve, so when I hear someone complaining about ‘corrupt leaders’ while tapping on his illegal browser, I only smile ruefully and shake my head.

  13. I’ve tried two other phone browsers like bolt and teashark, The two can’t stand opera mini 4.2 which is an old version.

    I’ve also tried the UCweb mention by ebeekay, the screen backgroung is quite intersting but it did not connect to the network.

    Yomi, please give us list and links to some other phone browser so we can try it and also post comments.

    Why are there no discussion about instant messangers on this website?

  14. Yomi,
    I’ve tried to download bolt on my phone, but the download’s constantly interrupted. I’ll still go to a cafe later though, thanks.

  15. Whosoever believe free browsing is not stealing is not sincere even to himself.He should imagine himself invest a fortune to put up a business just for some smart guys to come and take it for a free ride.How would he survive? But MTN should also make a rethink because blocking opera server would not help them in the long-run, as the genuine opera users will take to other networks to satisfy themselves.MTN should not try to compel people to their phone default browsers , opera browsers are designed to make web browsing experience a complete fun, so any attempt to stop people from having access to them will be counter productive cos they are used to it already.So all that MTN should do is to provide maximum security for its servers just like Etisalat did,as using opera application is not a crime in itself but only using it for free.

  16. My take on the free browsing issue is this: the network operators can try all they can, but people will still look for ways to beat them. Blocking Opera mini wouldnt deter them (hackers) from doing their thing.

    I know of many people around me that are still browsing for free on their phones’ native browsers. I hope u all will agree with me that hacking is a phenomenon that is prevalent in all nations. When hacking occurs, it is either the security system set up by the network is not working well or is leaking along the line.

    Ask yourselves this questions: why are people not browsing for free on Glo?, why is it common to Zain & Mtn? It is all because of the security system put in place by Glo.

    I am not an advocate of hacking & free browsing, but I just believe that the operators are not doing enough to curb it. To catch a thief, you have to behave like one.

  17. Azeez,

    You said:

    Ask yourselves this questions: why are people not browsing for free on Glo?, why is it common to Zain & Mtn? It is all because of the security system put in place by Glo.

    What security system is this? Without sweating it, I can come up with a number of free browsing cheats for Glo. Fortunately for them, I choose not to walk down that path years ago. But I do know for sure that there are hacks for the Glo network in circulation out there – and publicly too.

    I doubt if Glo has much of any sort of security set up. In my opinion, the Glo network is just as porous as the others.

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