What’s it like using Airtel Nigeria’s 3G network in 2015?

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Airtel the smartphone network

Airtel has been pushing itself to the public as “the smartphone network” and wooing subscribers with enticing data bundles. Personally, mobile internet on Airtel Nigeria has been one tale of disappointments after another. As a matter of fact, my very first mobile line was on ECONET, which later morphed over and over into airtel. Eventually, I gave up on the network for data.

This morning, I was trying to make the topic of Simultaneous Equations easier for Girl Mo (who is sitting for her Common Entrance exams soon), and I had need of internet to find some material for her online. Between Glo and my BlackBerry smartphone, I am not sure who was the culprit, but network was epileptic. And so, the lot fell on Mrs. Mo’s Airtel BIS subscription to bail me out. We put on her hotspot and in a few minutes, the laptop was online.

Shock: everything loaded pretty fast. Oh; I was surprised. Was this the Airtel I knew or another? I loaded some pretty heavy webpages and the speed was still surprising. So, I ran a Speedtest:

airtel BIS speedtest

Yes; you read the result right: download speeds in the range of 5 Mbps. On Airtel! There is a God in heaven. Anyway, I will be trying out Airtel in the next one month at various locations around Lagos to see whether this “revolution” is for real.

Do you use Airtel internet anywhere in the world? What has your experience with it been like?

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  1. I use Airtel in abakaliki, Ebonyi State. One thing for which I appreciate the network is the availability of 3g service in most places. I think they have a wider 3g coverage than any other network.
    While in speed they are not exactly the fastest, but it gets the job done.
    As per speed, I’ll put MTN and Etisalat on par as first, then airtel and then crappiest Glo

  2. Airtel has speed when u do get the network… their prob is consistency jes like Etisalat.. network not everywhere

  3. True. Whereever you find Airtel and Etisalat in full strength, they are fast.

  4. Airtel has improved so I learnt though I have not used the bundle for some time now. I have been addicted to glo and etisalat as my second choice.However am about to give it a try to replace etisalat.

  5. Just switched my data services to Airtel from Etisalat,Etisalat has been great but unfortunately only pegged at 2G services in my area,Airtel just intro 3G so it’s a no brainer,so far so good..

  6. Speed is something. Billing is another. Last I checked, heard, the Billing was not exactly accurate (at least on the Android bundles).

    Slow and steady and accurate Billing, preferred over fast and steady and suspect Billing.

    If the Billing is okay, again, on Android, it might just be worth giving a whirl, again.

  7. When Airtel works well, it is good and fast. Unfortunately that’s not always the case. Adding to what Ehis and Diakon (formerly known as AskIchthys :P) have said, if you see Airtel and Etisalat working well in a place, you’ll probably find the others won’t quite work as well. Make your own local permutations of the four.

  8. Abeg, come ejigbo and try the airtel data speeds there. I dont even bother to use airtel for data anymore bcos it is ridiculously pathetic in ejigbo area. Etisalat and MTN seems to work splendidly everywhere I find myself in Lagos. My main data client still remains Swift 4G even though they seem to have slowed down a bit sha.

  9. @Chinedu, what doesn’t work in Ejigbo work in Isolo but might not work in Dopemu. Problem is I can’t be bothered to wander around with more than one SIM to find out which works where.

    And once the rainy season comes, you know that everything is up in the air regarding network effectiveness and signals.

  10. the first paragraph describes my relationship with airtel perfectly. data serviced got do bad I had to stop using airtel for data. would have ported the line but I already had MTN & etisalat lines

    also simultaneous equations for Common Entrance exams? haba, that’s too soon now

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