Once upon a time, cheap data plans were a dream. Sometime in 2007, I wanted to download Real Football 2006 mobile game on my then Motorola C650. I loaded N200 airtime on my MTN line and downloaded the game. It was less than 300 KB and the airtime finished just when the download was complete.
Yesterday, I got a notification from MTN that said I could browse with my airtime at the rate of N10.24/MB. How times have changed 🙂 .Since time immemorial, the one thing we Nigerians have cried out for is the day mobile data plans will get cheaper for the common man to pay for.
It is no surprise that most of us resorted to free browsing tricks, cheats and hacks – I admit it I used it for years before quitting. For some of us, we needed the data, but couldn’t pay for it, but as prices reduced we now switched over to official data plans.
The biggest player, MTN stubbornly refused to lower their prices. GLO did, and this naturally drew customers to their fold, while the former suffered a heavy loss of subscribers. Realizing the need to regain back her internet subscribers, MTN decided to take really aggressive moves. First, they increased data allocation of N1,000 from 260 MB to 1.5 GB, while also introducing a midnight plan of 500 MB for just N25.
This urgent move led to some side effects. The all stubborn Etisalat were forced to crash their prices too. This is a good thing. In fact, it is cause to jump up and leap with joy. N1,000 for 1.5 GB is huge and more than enough for the average user. We can now chat more, download more, stream more, Instagram more, Facebook more and more and more. But where does this leave us?
Now that we found love
What are we gonna do with it?
Now that we have cheap data plans, what are we gonna do with it?
With the reduced prices, are we getting value for our money? Nigerian networks are notorious for instability. They can be so unreliable at times. Especially when you need them most. At the office, we could have subscription on 3 mobile networks, and Smile will be the only one pulling through. People have had issues with GLO going off for days with no reason.
Is it just about reducing the prices? So we now have cheap data plans. But how about the quality and speed of the internet? Trust me, people would be very willing to pay for steady internet even if the speeds are not that breath taking.
What then becomes of data resellers? These people are opportunists that took advantage of the “expensive data” situation to buy data in bulk and resell to people at prices cheaper than the official rates. With the new data plans, I can feel the glum on their faces.
Now that we have cheaper data plans, we can say that from henceforth it can only get better. How good it gets, or how worse it becomes, time will tell.