Once upon a time, there was a network. If I needed to subscribe to a data package – BlackBerry Internet Service or generic data plan


There Was A Network

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Once upon a time, there was a network. If I needed to subscribe to a data package – BlackBerry Internet Service or generic data plan – it went through the first time. Not the second, the tenth, or the twentieth try. Where activation didn’t go through at all (as is the case now), I got through to customer care with one dial. But even that is now a luxury that I no longer get to enjoy. Dialling 200 to call customer care now gives me a “Congestion” error.


There was a time that such an error message was unthinkable on the network in question. Now, its just part of another day in paradise. There was a time that things just worked as they should. Sadly, not anymore.

No; it isn’t just me. Speaking of this network, someone said to me: “They charge me for every tweet, website or video link I visit after taking my BIS subscription. Sometimes, I can’t open links”


There was a time when I could say that Etisalat is the most reliable mobile network in Nigeria. As things stand right now, I am not so sure anymore. Because of the accolades that I showered on this network back in the good old days, some friends even think that I am partly responsible for the congestion. How? See:


See my life o! One has to be careful with praise and recommendations in this world 🙂 Now, don’t go biting @CheRox. That tweet was just friendly banter.

But humour aside, I could just adapt Dare Art Alade’s song in honour of this network, and sing the following lines:

You’re not the girl I used to know, you’re a shadow of yourself
I think I lost you long ago, like a book that’s left a shelf
I hear the footsteps down the hall and I know someday that will be you
Leaving me for good

Sigh. However, all that I have the energy to say at this time is this: there was a network called Etisalat Nigeria.

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  2. I had to dump Etisalat a long time ago, though they were fast but whenever it rained in owerri then, the data part if their network would disappear until the next day, and if it rained the next day same thing happened. I once subscribed for one month data during the peak of the raining season and I only got to use it for 8 days or less.

  3. This is strange as I had to jump ship from Airtel to Etisalat for my mobile data and BIS needs. I’m getting good quality of service. In the past, I have strongly criticized etisalat for poor QoS.

  4. Too bad. When I left the Etisalat data networks sometime last year, they were still the best network in terms of connection speed and stability in my opinion. That’s some eight months now and the memory I have of them is still fresh and remain the best data connection I’ve ever had on any mobile network in Nigeria. Obviously they must have gone the way of other networks that were praised at one point or another. If things become too bad with Airtel’s data networks tomorrow, I’m still going to give them a try to confirm for myself since I also understand that things can vary greatly with locations.

    Right now, Airtel’s data networks have dropped in quality from the time I joined them initially. I have finally adjusted to using 2G (EDGE) connection for most of my internet needs except when visiting the Google Play Store or downloading some heavy files from other sources. I have observed that some of the time I do have need for 3G connection, it is either not available at all or not stable enough to support effective downloads. The data allowance that I get from their BB Social Plan is the main reason I’ve not tried another network.

    Apart from the issue of 3G connection, I think Airtel is still good enough for what they offer and their 2G connection is relatively stable.

  5. Our Operators must continuously expand their network capacity.

    There are surveys already saying that in a couple of years networks won’t be able to meet our demands.

  6. I left etisalat when I could not stop BB daily renewal that deducted 1500 loaded without using the service all plea begging fell on a deaf ear. Non of there cco could stop the daily deduction. Each time I call within the 15 Days that my money is being deducted, they will tell me it as being stop only for them to deduct 100.

  7. Etisalat never did light a fire for me. Not even with calls.

    there was a time that I even needed prayers just to subscribe successfully.

    the SIM is resting peacefully in a Three Crowns Matchbox .

    i have not had any reason to revisit it since dumping it for the Airy Folks- AirTel..

  8. Thank God am not the only one who has felt their poor performance. I sent an email to them last year about their poor data service, gave them an ultimatum but didn’t get a reply from them. Well i kept my threat and destroyed both of the etisalat sims i had and i have never used their network since then. We all need to show them that customer is king.

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