Many people, myself inclusive, are still waiting for the time when unlimited data plans will be offered my mobile operators in Nigeria. By “unlimited data,” I mean an all-you-can-eat plan without speed and reliability issues.
This sadly is not looking possible looking at factors and trends as stated below.
The high cost of operation and lack of security and related challenges are what network operators in Nigeria have to deal with. The four major operators in Nigeria were recently fined by the Nigerian Communications commission for poor quality of service. That in my opinion is just propaganda and does not address the real issues on ground.
With the lack of stable public power supply in the country, mobile operators spend billions of Naira monthly powering base stations around the country. Then there are the regular acts of vandalism that occur, further compounding the situation. Who bears the brunt of these issues? Subscribers. Simple.
3G mobile internet services have been available since 2001 but here we are in Nigeria in 2012, we are still battling with reliability. Sure there has been improvements, but we have a long way to go.
Then there is the fact that on the global scene, the cost of bandwidth and increasing demand on networks is producing a lockdown on unlimited data plans.
In the United States where 4G speeds are already being deployed, unlimited data services are beginning to fizzle out. For example, Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest CDMA provider has stopped offering unlimited data. The same trend is observable in other areas around the world.
Some ISPs in Nigeria especially Lagos used to provide unlimited data service, but have also resorted to cutting down on it. Examples are Mobitel and most recently Swift who have stopped offering unlimited monthly data services.
Considering that I finish my monthly 6GB data allocation in a matter of days, you can imagine that unlimited internet is something that I’ll continue to wish for.
Whether or not it ever sees the light of day is a different matter entirely.