A user of this site recently submitted the following comment: Yomi I am getting fed up with all the sub standard internet services being rendered

Sub-standard Internet Service Delivery in Nigeria

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A user of this site recently submitted the following comment:


I am getting fed up with all the sub standard internet services being rendered to us in this Country, mainly because of the speed. I started out with glo, it was a frustrating experience. By the way, can you confirm if glo is still rendering 3G services? I really dont think so.MTN was promising at the beginning, now they’ve joined the pack. Now i’m think of dumping MTN for Visa phone internet. I need your advice.

Let me start by saying that sub-standard Internet servicees in Nigeria is the story of our lives. From GSM/3G operators, through their CDMA counterparts, to dedicated Wi-Max/Wi-fi/ and cable ISPs, Nigeria internet users have stories of woes to tell.

Now, on to the questions posed by the commenter.

Yes; GloMobile is offering 3G services, and our experience here at MN is that they currently offer the most stable and reliable 3G/HSDPA service in the country. In our informed opinion, this is largely due to the fact that their bundle plans are available only on a contract basis – meaning that lots of people are not keen on taking it up.

Zain is relatively stable too, if you are lucky to be located within their very limited 3G/HSDPA coverage area.

MTN is undisputedly the worst in the 3G/HSDPA bracket at the moment. Dumping MTN for anything right now is a good move.

On the CDMA front, so far as I know, there is very little difference in quality of service being delivered by Visafone, Starcomms, and Multilinks. And, honestly, that is not saying much. We have too many tales of woes of customers subscribed to EVDO on these networks who are getting basic CDMA 1x speeds as a daily experience inspite of having EVDO coverage at their locations.

Just last week, I was a witness to an individual who so got frustrated with the crawly speeds he was getting on his EVDO connection in the Egbeda area that he went all the way to Yaba hoping to get a better EVDO connection. He was badly disappointed, because all he got was the same old crawly speeds, again inspite of EVDO coverage.

Also note that my responses are qualified with terms like “currently”, “for now”, etc. This is because the tables often turn unexpectedly, and in another few months the presently unreliable service may have found a new lease of life, or the currently stable and dependable service caught the plague. Choosing an internet service in Nigeria is often like walking a minefield.

I must also add that for some odd reason, there are pockets of people here and there who respond with glowing tales of some of the above-mentioned poor services. This means that inspite of the general experience, there is the chance that you can hit a jackpot with whatever service provider you choose to go with.

But since when did it become normal to depend on luck and chance for a service you have duly put down your hard-earned money for? The story of our lives.


  1. You know, you should think about adding this info to the African Signals wiki, in the Nigeria section. African Signals is a site dedicated to finding out and showing local rates for mobile phone and internet connections around Africa. It’s the type of info that would be helpful to so many others coming into the country.

    Keep up the great blogging.

  2. Yomi, this is well timed. We are all being ripped off by the operators – provision of substandard services, advertising services that are not available – & the NCC is doing nothing about it. I have moved from ZOOM to Starcomms to MTN.

    MTN has been woeful in the past few weeks. Since the gremlin attack/systems upgrade, things have not been the same. My subscription to their 3Gb nite plan just expired & I was barely able to use half of my quota. I dislike paying for services not rendered & I wont mind paying a bit more (i believe we are paying too much right now) to have quality, stable internet service.

    The operators are getting away with this because no one is taking them to task. Yomi, how can we improve things?

  3. pls tell the writter of the articl that u mustnt always use your phone to browse, if u have a computer try other wireless network providers ike swift nigeria. i trust them to deliver at least for now (all things remaining equal)

  4. Rebecca, you said:

    i trust them to deliver at least for now.(all things remaining equal)

    That statement itself is pregnant, especially the fact that you had to issue a caveat about “all things remaining equal”.

    The truth of the matter is that in Nigeria, things mysteriously never remain equal. I have had one or two users of Swift tell some stories too. With years of experience in the industry, I do not know of one ISP that has delivered on its promises without fail.

    Other wireless network providers are just as guilty of sub-standard services as the GSM and CDMA operators. For all have sinned…. 😉

    PS: Mobile internet does not imply that the user necesarrilly does his browsing on a phone. It does mean that his connection can be used (on phone or with PC) wherever his network has coverage, as against a fixed location service.

  5. Bayuze,

    That’s a heavy question you have asked. I have a few thoughts…

    We can file formal complaints to the NCC.

    We can keep public awareness high by discussing such issues as we are doing now.

    We can attempt to make a difference by floating an ISP of ours and implementing the standards we currently dream of.

    Did I leave anything out, anyone?

  6. I think now is d right time we take them to task.they re simply taking us all for a ride.coz of d poor internet services on d various networks, i ve decided to restrict myself to using their pay-as-u-go plans for my internet needs. Glomobile that used to be d shining light is now floundering. Maybe things will improve when their submarine cable is completed.

    Yomi, lets use dis site to force them to sit up.another alternative is for us all to boycott them for a week or two. What do you think?

  7. In November of 2008 i was getting 600kbps download (easily 😯 ) on Starcomms in Lekki. Today we”re lucky if we even hit 100kbps on download (upload seems to be hover at 220kbps during the best times which is great if u have videos to upload). Its become almost unusable during the day except for the most basic of tasks.

    Starcomms what happened ?

  8. Azeez, the boycott alternative is a difficult one. For example, there are thousands of small and medium businesses who depend on some of these services. These are businesses who have customers to take care of.

    While the services can be frustrating, I do not see those businesses jumping on a boycott wagon.

  9. Yomi, filing complaints with NCC doesnt work. They simply forward your email to the affected network without followup or punitive measures. Are there any infrastructural or any other problems that actualy causes all these wahala? Because if we decide to come together to form an ISP wont we be affected by same? I’m assuming that these operators arent purposely shortchanging us & there are probably some bottlenecks causing all these.

  10. plz hv anyone used or currently using swift broadband? Is it ok to go for it cos Vsafone is frustrating my life

  11. Hi everyone,

    My experience with Zoom Mobile formally known as RELTEL has been frustrating…despite the fact that i just bought their so called ZoomBlast which is on the Broadband network…..somtimes when its too sunny, i mean even when the weather is so cool, zoom might be moving slowly or not moving at all. it even got to a stage where i had to call their customer care service and the only thing they could tell me was to RE-START my computer…

    Anyway, the way things is going on in this country, it as if there is not goin to be any change at all. because i dont even seen one coming. and again, i know some people are really benefiting from this poor state of internet problems…because in Nigeria, once anything happenes, some poeple tends to benefit.


  12. Hi every one just got hooked 2 this site i was about going 2 victoria island the other day to purchase a zoom usb mobile package but after reading this, am not realy sure anymore. Even the cafes suck! May be i will do some more askin and enquries.what do u think?

    Sent on a phone using T9space.com

  13. Dont know if anyone has experience Multilinks EVDO Bluebroadband they call it,they said they are selling hours ,no one knows how its been calculated,at interval you will just see a message ,’ you have less than 50MB left’ no one knows if its MB they are offering as per the charges or hours subscribe for. Please someone hep. Just fed up with all. Starcomms 1X too can just dissappear at anytime

  14. @Odejimi Hakeem
    My experience with Multilinks EVDO/ 3G Bluebroadband’s not far from yours. i bought 500hours for 12,500 Naira which comes with 2.5G Data Transfer (up and down loads) for 90days. After 3weeks of an average 5hour daily usage, i get a message that “my subscription has expired, i need to recharge to keep bowsing”. i go over to Multilinks office @ Motorways to be told that i’ve used up my allocated 2.5G. i was dumbfounded, couldn’t believe my ears.

    But who do i report to?

  15. Please what is the essence of this site, do you fgorward our complaints to the appropriate quaters ?

  16. Please what is the essence of this site, do you fgorward our complaints to the appropriate quaters?

    MobilityNigeria provides news , tips and reviews of mobile phones and services. We also run discussion forums, where you can discuss mobile phone issues as they affect you, as well as operate a phone store where you can purchase your mobile.

    We are not affiliated to any mobile network and do not act as a go-between in anyway. To ensure that your complaints get to the appropriate quarters, please forward them through your network operator’s customer care channels or via those of the NCC.

  17. Its funny that over a year after this blog post, it is even more relevant than yesterday. I am presently in Nigeria and have tried MTN, Zain, Etisalat. I had to keep jumping because each had one problem or the other.

    MTN disconnects every few mins after 10pm. Its no longer as fast as it used to be.
    Zain is slow and doesn’t open the websites that matter to me.
    Etisalat was a hell to activate and also doesn’t open the websites that matter to me. When I tried using a proxy, Etisalat got even slower. 🙁

    Shame this is what Nigerians have to put up with, everyday.

  18. Oluniyi, welcome to our grand world. At least, you have had a taste of why I have some of those multiple mobile numbers you have in your contacts database 😀

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